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Mystical, Magical Umami Meat Marinade
A Recipe for a Delicious Umami Marinade for Meat, Fish, Fowl, and Unspecified Seafood of Any Type
Whether your favorite animal of delectation swims, flies, sits around all day inhaling seawater, or walks around on two legs or four, Mystical Magical Dead Animal Marinade can make its cooked flesh smokier, saltier, and blessed with layers of umami.
It's that magical characteristic that makes many classic savory treats delectable and addictive. It's that mouth-watering flavor thing you love about grilled beef, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce, and aged cheeses that you can't exactly characterize as hot, sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. In other words, it's the flavor of foods rich in natural glutamates, but it's a lot easier to just use the proper Japanese word, umami.
Some people shy away from using it because they don't know how to pronounce it properly or feel silly about saying it. Really, no one worth spending time with is going to care if you flub it up. If you need a little reassurance anyway, it's pronounced just like you think, like the 'oo' in moo tacked on the front of the word 'mommy.'
Mystical, Magical, Dead Animal Umami Marinade is also a bit much to say, so feel free to use its acronym, MMDAUM, instead. It's pronounced "mm mm day-um."
Read on to learn what you need to do to make your own mm mm damn good sauce for soaking recently deceased animal parts intended for human consumption. In other words, the recipe and instructions are below.
Ingredients of Sheer Umami Madness
...aka Stuff You'll Need
- 4 teaspoons Maggi liquid seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Vegemite
- 4 teaspoons liquid smoke without any ingredients but water and smoke
- 2/3 teaspoon smoked sea salt, the more heavily smoked the better
- 1/3 teaspoon dried ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in fourths lengthwise
Tools and Other Non-Food Materials You Will Need
- A small, non-reactive measuring cup or mixing bowl, preferably with a pouring spout
- A paring knife
- A non-reactive spoon for stirring
- An assortment of measuring cups and spoons
- A can-do attitude
- A desire for umami deliciousness of epic proportions
Method and Directions
Pour all of the ingredients into a non-reactive measuring cup or small mixing bowl and stir until the smoked salt is well dissolved. Use immediately or decant into non-reactive storage container of choice until ready to use.
The marinade made without the garlic can be combined and stored in a sealed, non-reactive container at room temperature for a week or more or in the fridge for a couple of months and the garlic can be added fresh when the marinade is put to use.
This recipe makes enough marinade for 6 thin-cut pork chops, 4 thick steaks, or a pound of salmon or chicken parts. You don't need to submerge the meat in it, just coat it on all sides.
How to Use the Marinade
Pour enough marinade to thinly cover the bottom of a shallow, covered, non-reactive dish large enough to accommodate all of your raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Layer thawed or semi-thawed animal parts with marinade, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
The olive oil will solidify and look like scum, but be sure to rescue it to cook your favorite dead things in. It picks up a lot of flavor and it encourages the Maillard Reaction (a sort of protein caramelization effect), a great friend and ally of savory foods due to its ability to intensify and bring out umami flavors.
What the Bleep Is Maggi Liquid Seasoning?
Maggi liquid seasonings are slightly salty, wheat-gluten-based liquid seasonings bursting with natural free glutamates. I've tried two varieties, the Chinese version with the yellow cap and the German "Wurze" variety with the red cap. While the Chinese-made version with the yellow cap is good, tasting somewhat similar to weak La Choy brand soy sauce in overall flavor profile, the German version has a greater depth of flavor. It's as magical as liquid smoke, in its own way.
I've found the German version I prefer on Amazon and it's not priced badly considering how little you need to enhance foods with umami.
Why Is It Just for Dead Animals?
Applying marinade to live animals is not recommended. It would possibly be cruel, at the very least unusual, and probably quite messy. So just don't do it.
I use this marinade on salmon, tuna, chicken, pork, and beef with great, smoky-tasting results. It's also good with mushrooms, potatoes, and asparagus.
So What's Vegemite and Why Is It in This Marinade?
Vegemite is an amazing substance made from what amounts to caramelized yeast leftover from the process of brewing beer. It's full of B vitamins and it is the gooey, heady essence of umami in a little brown glass jar. It adds natural glutamates to this recipe that accentuate the good savory flavors of anything you put it on.
A little goes a long, long way. Try a quarter-teaspoon dab on white bread with 2 teaspoons of your favorite margarine to get an idea of its flavor profile before adventuring into cooking with it and you'll be thankful you did.