Umami Consommé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes /

    1.5–2 Litres

Appears in


By Peter Gilmore

Published 2014

  • About

The savoury complexity of this consommé is really the star of my squab and abalone dish. This consommé is an intricate layering of umami-rich ingredients starting with roasted fish heads, squid trimmings, scallop trimmings, chicken wings and stock vegetables. The stock is made and finished with a kilogram of fresh clams releasing their salty sea juices. It is then enriched and refined with a raft of dried shiitake and chestnut mushrooms, kombu and wakame seaweed, then finished with fermented anchovy brine. Umami is referred to as the fifth taste, the savoury element that is found in glutamate and ribonucleotide-rich foods such as fermented fish sauce, parmesan cheese, ripe tomatoes, kombu seaweed and shiitake mushrooms. This experience of savouriness is found in different combinations in most cuisines around the world, but it was first scientifically identified by Professor Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. One of his most important discoveries was that combining glutamate-rich foods—such as kombu seaweed—with foods that contain ribonucleotides—such as dried bonito flakes—makes the umami effect much greater, which explains the impact of the classic Japanese dashi stock.

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