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How did I end up here?  Well…

I found a beer from Garage Project, a local Wellington brewery.  The beer is called Umami Monster.  Yeah, Umami Monster.  Imagine a beer made with Japanese dashi stock.  Umami flavours in a beer should pair well with grilled meats.

So, we’ve endured cold, wet Southerly conditions here in Wellington for about 7 days in a row, except for today. This morning the wind turned northerly and it was sunny – excellent BBQ weather, even in Winter.

So, I set up The Mighty Hibachi with hardwood charcoal – the good stuff, mind you – great chunks of charcoal, fist sized bits straight from the bag.  I could really use a bigger BBQ, but that’s a different post for a different day…

I figured, as you do, that a grilled umami burger with Umami Monster beer would hit you like an Umami Tsunami.  Oh, never mind.

Back to the umami burger… I made a miso-dijon mustard with dijon mustard, miso paste, and xioxing wine (would have used rice wine, but didn’t have it).  I grilled red onions (heaps of umami there…).  I grilled 200g of beef mince over hardwood charcoal, basting the burger with the miso-dijon mustard as it cooked. I topped the burger with a mixture of grated aged cheddar and Grana Padano cheese and covered the burger on the grill until the cheese melted.

When the burger was cooked medium rare, I took it off the grill and let it rest for a bit while I got the rest of the burger ready.  I spread kewpie mayonnaise on the toasted bottom bun, then topped the bottom bun with cos lettuce, bread & butter pickles, and a couple of tomato slices.  I placed the burger on top of all that, then placed the grilled onions on top of the burger.  On the top bun I spread some miso-dijon mayonnaise, then assembled the burger and plated it.

I served the umami burger with Umami Monster beer…

It was an Umami Tsunami.

Would I do it again?  Probably not, but it was a fun culinary exercise.