Brandade with Air-Dried Ham and Green Peas

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Umami

Umami

By Ole Mouritsen

Published 2014

  • About

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10½ oz) salt cod olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 starchy baking potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g (4 oz) air-dried ham, cut into cubes
  • green peas or green asparagus

Method

  1. Soak the salt cod in water for 24 hours, changing the water a few times.
  2. Taste the fish. It should be neither too salty nor too waterlogged.
  3. Place the salt cod in a stainless steel bowl with the skin side up. Heat some olive oil with the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme to 150°C (300°F) and pour over the salt cod. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Remove the skin and bones from the fish.
  5. Pour a little olive oil into a pot. Add the potatoes and onion. Allow to fry gently over low heat for a few minutes without browning. Add 1 cup water and simmer with the cover on until the potatoes are soft.
  6. Squash the potatoes with a fork to make a coarse mash. Stir the salt cod and cubes of air-dried ham into the mash. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add raw green peas or finely cut asparagus at the very end.
  7. Serve the brandade in scoops. It goes well with ratatouille and can be eaten warm, lukewarm, or cold as a dish on its own with toasted bread and olive oil.

Umami Burger

An ordinary hamburger is the stereotypical example of fast food—a plain, soft bun and a dry patty made from low-quality meat. It is edible only because the ketchup, cheddar cheese (sometimes), tomato slices, bacon strips, and mayonnaise that accompany it are full of glutamate and impart umami. An American burger restaurant on the West Coast and in New York, which calls itself Umami Burger, has achieved nearly cult status by going all the way and actively embracing the concept of the fifth taste. With its slogan of “It’s all about umami,” the restaurant serves hamburgers with tomatoes, konbu, anchovies, shiitake mushrooms, truffles, Parmesan cheese, and soy sauce. A veritable umami fix.