Unlock UMAMI: Demystifying The 5th taste in Japanese Food Ingredients and Fermented Seasonings
· 5 February 2024
Find out how Japanese umami is the secret behind healthy, delicious foods.
The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO) recently launched the “Unlock UMAMI” (@unlock_umami) promotion in Singapore to provide foodies with the opportunity to experience and undertand the secrets behind the deliciousness of Japanese foods – derived from the combination of Japanese food ingredients and fermented seasonings, including “koji”.
The promotion was created with two main goals: “experiencing” and “understanding” Japanese umami, also known as the ‘fifth taste’. It is a key element found in numerous Japanese fermented seasonings including soy sauce, miso, mirin and rice vinegar. The koji mold (aspergillus oryzae) – cultivated on grains such as rice, wheat and soybeans – is the key to unlocking umami. For centuries, koji has played a major role in Japan’s fermentation culture. All these are known for their ability to enhance the umami flavours found in all types of dishes. Fermented seasonings created with koji will turn your food into umami-packed delights from tender meats and fresh seafood to rich savoury broths and flavourful marinades.
The first goal of “experiencing” umami will be promoted through a restaurant campaign at selected restaurants. The restaurant campaign presents various creations using Japanese fermented seasonings (Including soy sauce, miso, mirin, and rice vinegar) in combination with Japanese food ingredients. A total of 30 renowned restaurants in Singapore and the United States (New York and Los Angeles) are expected to participate in this campaign.
Each restaurant will create special new menu items featuring food ingredients and fermented seasonings produced in Japan to be served to guests from now until early March. Participating restaurants in Singapore include Masa Saito Innovative, Towa, Teppan Works, Vegi-An, Whitegrass, Luka, and Whitetree Café, a new concept by Whitetree, a Japanese Wellness tea brand.
For more information about the restaurants, visit: https://japan-food.jetro.go.jp/odan/sg/experience/
Meanwhile, the second goal of “understanding” Umami will be promoted through the launch of an entertaining cooking showdown programme called “The UMAMI MATCH” which can be seen on YouTube in February 2024. Three American chefs from different culinary genres will compete against each other to conceive new and unexpected creations – using Japanese food ingredients and fermented seasonings.
This cooking programme will be conducted over three rounds, and a highly experienced Japanese chef will judge how well each chef has used these items to successfully draw out the umami in the dishes they have prepared.
JFOODO was established by the Japanese government in 2017 with the aim of boosting the Japanese agricultural, forestry, fishery and food products by branding the and promoting them around the world.
For more information, visit: https://japan-food.jetro.go.jp/odan/sg/