Ready for another episode of the Nom Nom Paleo Podcast? In the second installment of our family’s show, we delve into all things umami. Join Henry and me as we chat about the history, science, and magical flavor-boosting potential of the fifth taste. We also cover everything from crispy fried eggs with gooey yolks, the wonders of wedding rings made out of silicone, and how we really feel about MSG—and the kids chime in with their Crushes of the Week, too!
Show Notes & Links for Episode 2:
What We Ate:
In this segment, I reminisce about a meal I recently shared with my pal Diana Rodgers at Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, D.C. We enjoyed a fantastic gluten-free meal, and my favorite dish of the evening was the appetizer: wood oven-roasted bone marrow with bacon butter and a pistachio crust. (I’m such a Paleo cliché.)
Henry, on the other hand, was excited that his favorite coffee joint, Blue Bottle Coffee, has finally opened up an outpost in our hometown and he won’t have to trek all the way to San Francisco to get a prime cup of java.
The roasted bone marrow at Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, D.C. rocks my socks off.
But I still prefer my occasional jolt of caffeine from Philz Coffee.
We spend the bulk of the episode chatting about the wonders of umami and how it’s the guiding force in my kitchen. Henry recounts how his art skills snagged us a seat at an umami-themed dinner cooked by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto twelve years ago. We also discuss the science behind umami, how to utilize it effectively, which foods are naturally high in umami, and our position on MSG. Even though I think umami-rich foods are the bee’s knees, I recognize that they may not be right for everyone.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto was our gateway to umami.
Here’s a peek at me and Henry from twelve years ago, posing with Chef Morimoto in front of Henry’s umami painting.
Umami Information Center is a great resource on—what else?—umami.
Mission Heirloom is a Paleo-friendly restaurant in Berkeley, California that specializes in low-glutamate dishes.
Red Boat Fish Sauce is the secret weapon in my pantry.
Here’s a list of the umami-packed recipes I reference in the episode:
Crush of the Week:
Lil-O crushes on his stuffed cat, aptly named Cat. Cat has followed Lil-O everywhere since he was a baby. Big-O reveals that he’s a huge podcast fan, and especially loves episodes of This American Life in which people are sadistic to each other. Me? I can’t remember if my crush of the week is crispy eggs or Twitter. And lastly, Henry loves his silicone wedding band.
Both Henry and I love our Qalo rings.
Question of the week:
I post pictures of crispy fried eggs on Instagram several times a week and many readers have asked: How do you make crispy eggs with yolks that are still liquid and edges that are crisp, golden brown, and frilled?
Here’s my recipe and video for Sunnyside Salad.
I protect my hands from burns by wearing a Grill Heat Aid glove (or two).
I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for crispy fried eggs.
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Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my Webby Award-winning iPad® app, and in my James Beard Award nominated cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans!