I know we are not even half way through the year yet but I have found my go-to ingredient already for 2016 and it’s just come onto the market via Clearspring. It is an Umami paste flavoured with chilli or ginger. During an event they hosted recently showcasing their new product range, they offered us guests all kinds of wonderful foods including these completely addictive umami aubergine bites created by the chef host at the event, Mayumi Nishimura, Maddona’s personal macrobiotic chef for several years.
I know umami pastes aren’t new to the market but the difference is how this paste is made, which gives it the edge in terms of flavour and authenticity. And, like all Clearspring products it is certified organic so it doesn’t rely at all on heavily processed or artificial ways of pimping up their products. The umami paste is made by using Koji (cooked rice/soya beans injected with a fungus/mould which is used for making soy sauce and other fermented products). The Koji is mixed with soy sauce and chilli or ginger (there are 2 varieties) to create this flavour sensation that is a real revelation.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is based upon one of Mayumi’s and I have called it umami aubergine bites because that just about sums it up. Minimal ingredients used, maximum flavour delivered. The aubergines can be baked in the oven or grilled on the bbq, all they need is a splash of oil and the rest is easy. Just umami paste, coriander leaf, sesame seeds and pickled red onions. Be sure to make plenty, they are unbelievably moreish.
Here are some other veggie and vegan canape ideas for you:
Vietnamese spring rolls – The Veg Space
Smashed pea, feta & mint crostini – Cook Sister
Cauliflower & cavolo nero pakoras – Natural Kitchen Adventures
Taco potato crisps – Amuse your bouche
Kimchi tempeh avocado nori rolls – Amy Chaplin
Beetroot rocket & feta fritters – Tinned Tomatoes
Baked marinara stuffed arancini – Food to Glow
Polenta bruschetta – Thinly Spread
I was invited as a guest of Clearspring to their new products showcase event. I was not required to write a positive review. All views my own.
Umami Aubergine Bites
- 1 aubergine sliced into thin circular discs
- Light olive oil for brushing the aubergines with before they are cooked
- Salt & pepper
- Clearspring umami paste chilli or ginger
- Black & white seasme seeds
- Freshly picked corainder leaves
- Pickled red onion - Finely slice 1 medium red onion and place it in a bowl with salt and a generous splash of good red wine vinegar. Let it rest for at least an hour before using. Overnight is best.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment and place the aubergine discs on it without them overlapping.
- Using a pastry brush, coat each aubergine on both sides with oil and season well
- Bake until softened and cooked through which can take up to 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the aubergine
- Dress the aubergines with a small dab of umami paste, a couple of strnads of pickled red onion, sesame seeds and a coriander leaf
- Serve immediately
The aubergine slices can also be cooked on the bbq and they are best eaten warm.