Gluten Free Umami Burgers Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on July 19, 2014

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Umami is a Japanese word that when translated means “pleasant savory taste”. It is one of the five basic tastes along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

A “basic taste” is similar to a primary color – it is a basic which can be combined with other basics to create an almost infinite number of more complex tastes.

In many recipes we look for the perfect balance of some or all of these basic tastes – it is what makes the difference between an OK cook and a great cook.

But sometimes, as with color, letting one really stand out adds punch and vibrancy. These burgers let the basic of umami stand out. There is a little sweetness and a little saltiness for balance but the star of the show in these burgers is umami.

I usually eat my burgers on a lettuce leaf but feel free to add a gluten free bun if you like.

This recipe was created to be low sodium so I used San-J Tamari Lite, if sodium is not an issue, you can use any of San-J’s exceptional tamaris instead.


Gluten Free Umami Burgers Recipe


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
1 pound lean ground beef
1½ teaspoons San-J Tamari Lite
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
4 lettuce leaves


Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, Tamari Lite, garlic, pepper, and sugar. Mix to combine and let sit 15 minutes. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into patties. Cook in a skillet or on a grill 3 minutes per side for medium. Serve on a lettuce leaf topped with a quarter of the onions.


A gluten free recipe that serves 4

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Categories:    Main Dishes

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne August 5, 2014 at 1:48 am

can’t wait to try some of your recipes. I would like to try the burger recipe. I have been gluten free for 3 years now. I lost 6 inches off my waist in the first 5 months. I find some things are easy to make successfully other things are a little trickier. I don’t like rice flour much…seems a little sandy. Will try your recipes. Keep up the good work.


Carol Kicinski September 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Hi Anne,
Wow that’s great! Keep it up, it’s worth it. :) Yes, some rice flours can be a little grainy, you’re right. I hope you enjoy the burgers!


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