Understanding and knowing how to apply your ingredients to your cooking to bring out taste in your meals is important.  Knowing the complimentary ingredients before preparing your dish will help you achieve balance in your cooking and get the five taste elements; sweet, sour, bitter, salty and lastly umami (delicious). 

Usually in recipes, you will always come across reviews saying "the dish is sweet and sour" or "salty" and other values that contributes to taste. Now, umami is the fifth taste element in your cooking - which basically means delicious. Now, what is delicious? It is an element that pleases the sensory which is not a specific taste - but rather a blend of sweet with salty or richness from the coconut milk and cumin in curry or caramel with the creaminess of vanilla ice-cream. So, is it difficult to achieve this new level of sensory called umami? 

Hardly... when you look at your recipes, the ingredients are already made to create the umami experience for you. However, some recipes may not work the umami agent as it is suppose to - but you can adjust the elements to fit your liking and your definition of "delicious". There are not right no right or wrong. 

There are many combinations of ingredients that will achieve this result, for instance, adding a bit of nutmeg to your mash potatoes will bring out the richness from the potatoes or adding just cumin to a pot of curry brings aroma to your pot and blends the taste together to make it delicious. 

To achieve the element of delicious in your cooking honestly, requires a lot of trial and error- practice - practice - practice. Sooner or later you'll find the correct blends and what compliments which ingredient. If you try once and it doesn't work - try again. Another way to learn it - is to actually taste the condiments or ingredients and identify their original taste and figure out which taste agent would work best with the ingredients.

In this blog, I will write about all the different condiments and ingredients - explain to you how they taste and how to use it in your mix. Then again - my option may not fit your palate, so you take it and bring it to the next level - experiment the various possibilities. 

Here's to guerrilla cooking!