Umami Burger

Joined Jul 29, 2010
Me being infactuated with the world of Umami. can anyone else want to try this? :]

Umami Seasonings:
2 salted anchovies, cleaned
Worcestershire sauce
Truffle salt

Umami Ketchup:
1 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Oven-Dried Tomatoes:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¾ teaspoon soy sauce powder
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, sliced

Caramelized Onions:
2 pounds large onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter   
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon table salt
2 star anise

Parmesan Crisps:
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano

To Assemble and Serve:
1 ½ pounds assorted cuts of well-marbled beef (short rib, flap, skirt, brisket or hanger)
Vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
4 soft buns (potato or Portuguese), halved


For the Umami Seasonings:
Combine the anchovies with the remaining ingredients to taste. Blend in a mortar and pestle or, for larger quantities in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

For the Umami Ketchup:   
Purée the tomatoes with the juice from can in a blender until smooth. Cook the onion in oil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. Purée the ketchup in a blender until smooth. Chill, covered, overnight for flavors to develop.  Then add the umami seasonings to taste and chill the ketchup until needed.

For the Oven-Dried Tomatoes:
Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature setting. Stir the brown sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce together; brush on the sliced tomatoes. Put the tomatoes on a line sheet pan; dry in the oven overnight.

For the Caramelized Onions:
Cut the onions in half from pole to pole; peel and slice across the grain to ¼-inch thickness. Heat the butter and oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat; when the foam subsides, stir in the salt and star anise. Add the onions and stir to coat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and release some moisture, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deeply browned and slightly sticky, about 40 minutes longer.

For the Parmesan Crisps:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Using the largest holes on a box grater, coarsely shred enough cheese to measure 1 cup. Line a large sheet pan with a nonstick liner, like Silpat. Arrange tablespoons of cheese 2 inches apart on the liner. Flatten each mound slightly with a spatula to form a 3-inch round. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on sheet on a rack; then carefully transfer each crisp with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.

To Assemble and Serve:
Grind the beef coarsely in a meat grinder or food processor. Put 6 ounces of meat into a 4-inch ring mold and gently tap down to form into a patty. Heat a cast iron skillet on high for 5 minutes. When it’s very hot, pour in a drop of vegetable oil to lubricate the pan. Season the patties liberally with salt and pepper. Add the patties to the skillet and sear on one side for 3 minutes; flip once and sear for 2 more minutes for medium rare.

In another skillet, add half of the butter and sauté the mushroom caps for until soft, about 2 minutes. Set aside. Remove the beef patties to rest. Wipe the mushroom skillet and toast the buns cut side down with the remaining butter.

Remove the buns when toasted and add spread about 2 tablespoons of the umami ketchup on both halves of the bun. Stack a beef patty with 1 tablespoon of the caramelized onions, a parmesan crisp, 2 mushroom caps and 2 slices of oven dried tomato. Serve immediately.
Joined Jan 27, 2010
Wewwww!!!! This has a lot of work with one dish? Never heard this word or recipe before, does it originated in Japan?


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
While I see where you are trying to go with this, for me there are just way too many things going on.  Way too many flavors that are competing.  First you have this complex ketchup, then you are also adding mushrooms, parmesan crisps, caramelized onions and oven dried tomatoes.  I think that is too much going on.  I have found the best burgers to be relatively simple, with relatively few toppings to muddle up the flavors.  Too many times, in the past, I've been sucked in to ordering a burger loaded with tons of different things and every time I have ended up being disappointed and wishing I'd have gone with something a little more simple.  If I were to do this burger I'd drop the oven dried tomatoes-superfulous, IMO, with the ketchup.  Also, as much as I like caramellized onions, I'd probably drop those to as I feel they would "muddle" the other flavors  you are going for.  My two cents.
Joined Jul 29, 2010
Eh. I found this recipe on starchefs website from the chef that made the Umami burger so famous. Plan on making it within the next couple weeks
Joined Feb 1, 2007
...made the Umami burger so famous.

Famous? With who? I've never heard of them, before. And I suspect that most Cheftalkers haven't either. To me it sounds like somebody trying to capitalize on the current facination with the word umami.

Reminds me of that great line in Mel Brooks' To Be or Not To Be, when Anne Bancroft describes a character as being "world famous in Krakow."
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Umami ?? A, Jeopardy Question, ?  I thought it was a country off coast of  Kryptoville//????
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
While the term Umami has been discussed here I have never heard of the "famous Umami burger" either. Also I would think (this is just me  mind you) that some of those things are being a bit duplicated just to say it was in there.

Marmite or anchovies - while you could easily make the argument that the flavors are different, I wouldn't try to put them together cause I feel they would interfere with one another. So i would be a bit confused as where anchovie left off and salty marmite began.

Tamari and worstechire - again the flavors kinda meet in the middle for me. I would use one or the other, mixing the two just muddles up both of them.

I do like the look of the ketchup and I think a parmesan crisp is a nice bite of flavor that could go well with it. I have to agree though with Pete and say keep the sun dried tomato off of it.

I also would say either the mushrooms or the carmelized onions, but both would make a sloppy sloppy burger and perhaps muddle some more flavors. Not that a good sloppy burger once in a while is a bad thing.

Never used Harrisa, have no idea what the flavor is.

I do like the concept in general but " I"  would (obviously) modify this recipe for some more distinct flavors. Let us know how it turns out and what you thought of it, if you would please Jromers.
Joined Nov 24, 2010
I read an article from Bon Appetite magazine December issue of 2010.

In "starter" section (page 30), it features an "expert advice from the food entrepreneur".  Her name is Laura Santtini and she is a cookbook author, restauranteur, and umami expert. From what I read, I think she has a product called "Taste No. 5 Umami Paste".  Maybe you can just use that??? or if you're like me, just add MSG. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

 There's no way I'll go through all that trouble to make a burger. Partly because I think burgers do umami fine on their own especially with easy toppings like mushroom and swiss cheese or plain ketchup.

While I've never heard of this "umami burger", I would try if I could afford it and chances are, I can't.  So, when you make this, don't forget to invite your friends who can't afford this.

Off the topic, I love making burgers from short rib.  To my taste, it has good balance between meat, fat, and flavor.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Marmite is a pot ,Petite Marmite is a small pot  filled usually with broth made in a style of.Example Pettite Marmite Henry VIII
Joined Jan 5, 2007
Marmite is also a British yeast extract - which is delicious on buttered toast - but adds a depth to some savoury gravies.

The Aussies try to assert that their Vegemite is of superior quality - we British know it isn't (sorry DC Sunshine!)
Joined Oct 15, 2010
It's so funny that I just read in our local paper that a branch of Umami Burger will be opening in town. I might give that a try if it opens before we move away. I don't see myself making one anytime soon....
Joined Jan 27, 2010
Eh. I found this recipe on starchefs website from the chef that made the Umami burger so famous. Plan on making it within the next couple weeks
Please let us know what would be the outcome. And if you mind, following some advice. I think it would be great. :D
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Recipe works so fine and the taste was also good i tried it twice before going to party and all the guests really admire it.
Joined Dec 22, 2010
When grinding the meat, try to lay out the strands in one direction as Heston Blumenthal does. Really helps the burger fall apart in your mouth when you bite down with the grain of the meat, not against it. Requires 2 people to do. 


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