The pros: With the right main ingredient, Trader Joe's Umami paste would add some awesome flavor. I've read online that people have mixed it in with bolognese sauce. I've used it in a braise with short ribs.
The cons: There should be some recipes or guides to help you figure out how to use this. Supposedly, according to the package, you need to use this within 28 days.
The verdict: I like the taste, but I believe this is going to be a polarizing item. You'll love it, hate it, or have no idea what to do with it. For a $1.99 there is nothing comparable on the market that will give you the Umami flavor of the same complexity in one bottle. I'm going to pick up an extra bottle in case they discontinue this.
Here is what you can expect if you pick up this item at Trader Joe's:
Here is the tube:
The back of the tube. Be sure to read the ingredients as they are all strong flavors:
A little about this product:
How did I use this? I mixed ½ tsp of the paste, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese to make a bread dip (forgive me for not taking a picture, it wasn't sexy looking, it was ugly. But I ate it all). It was awesome. I'll have to experiment and figure out other uses for this.
Try 1 tube in something with a tomato base to it. See where that goes. I used it in Red Wine Braised Short Ribs Recipe and it was intense and flavorful in ways that tomato paste alone couldn't hope to achieve. I'll post other recipes as I get a chance.
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.