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Jul 19, 2012 02:39 PM


I recently had a delicious tabbouleh in Portland, OR at a Lebanese restaurant. It looked like the standard recipe, but it had a unique taste that I am trying to replicate. It was almost savory. Any ideas of what they might have put in to get that umami flavor?

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    1. I'm pleased that you raised the point. Far too often, IMO, Quinoa (and Bulgar) is used for tabbouleh with a restrictive concentration of "just another pasta salad" and it's so much more than that. If the starch is prepared in a chicken or beef stock and a bit of garlic and ginger are added to the other ingredients favored by the particular chef, the resulting flavors can be quite different and most enjoyable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        Chicken stock-that could have been it. I am actually a I hope there is another option! Maybe a good veg stock or even mushroom?

        1. Some people toast the bulgur before soaking it, which gives a slightly nutty taste. A pinch of baharat is traditional and the substituting sumac for some of the lemon juice as Antilope suggests would lend a pleasant musky background note.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JungMann

            I was thinking the baharat would give a savory flavor. I use a little when making my tabbouleh

          2. Though definitely not authentic, I add smoky paprika to the soaking water, just a bit.