Good cooks may follow a recipe, but they also rely on their own experienced taste buds. Is the end result too salty? Too tart? Too bland? Many traditional recipes invite the cook to "correct seasoning," which means, to use their judgment to add a little more of this or that to bring flavors into harmony and balance.
Sometimes, no matter how you try, the dish doesn't seem flavorful enough. The flavors don't meld.
That's when you need a little umami.
Umami is the fifth taste. Until recently, western scientists identified four basic tastes from which all taste perceptions are derived: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Now many concede there is a fifth, first discovered by a Japanese scientist in the early 1900s.
While each of the four tastes is very specifically identifiable, umami is more elusive - it's a quality of deliciousness, a meaty flavor of indescribable richness. Many fermented foods have that quality, including traditionally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce. This is why it can be used to add umami to a wide variety of non-Asian dishes, such as pot roast, minestrone or pasta sauce. A small amount of Kikkoman Soy Sauce will not add a soy sauce flavor, but it will meld the flavors of the dish and make the ingredients simply taste better.
The next time you want to "correct seasoning," consider adding a splash of Kikkoman Soy Sauce. Some good opportunities to explore its flavor-enhancing, umami qualities are when: