Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Tamari Cookies

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Tamari Cookies

Umami, the so-called ‘fifth taste’ — after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter — is a tangy, moreish taste usually attached to savoury dishes. It enhances food by imparting lively flavour, depth and tang. Umami is most often associated with Asian cooking, and can be found in ingredients like soy sauce or tamari, which is gluten-free, richer, thicker, and more complex. I love the combination of dark chocolate and salt, so I thought I’d add an extra element of depth to some oat cookies by getting some umami flavour on board. The result is a total palate party!

These tasty cookies are full of simple, wholesome ingredients like oats and coconut oil, with added crunch from the pistachios, which pair terrifically with the dark chocolate. Add in the tamari and we’re talkin’ get-outta-here delicious, addictive, and decidedly fancy biscuits. This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan.

For the cookies

  • 70g rolled oats (certified GF if coeliac)
  • 70g ground oats (just pulse them in food processor)
  • 30g erythritol + pinch of stevia (or granulated sweetener of choice)
  • 30g Vitafiber powder dissolved in 2 TBSP warm water (or 2 TBSP maple syrup/honey)
  • 60g coconut oil, softened
  • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • Handful of shelled pistachios or nuts of choice
  • Desired amount of chocolate chips (I used about 30g 90% Lindt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda

For the tamari-chocolate topping

  • 40g dark chocolate, melted (I used 90% Lindt)
  • ½ tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for at least half an hour  (Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread.)
  2. Preheat oven to 180C and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  3. Roll the cookie dough into balls with your hands, and press them down on the baking sheet. You should have a round, chunky shape, that you can neaten up with your hands.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on the oven because temperature and cooking time varies from oven to oven.
  5. The cookies should look slightly browned, and may be still a little soft to the touch. Don’t worry — they will harden as they cool.
  6. Remove from oven and do not touch until completely cool.
  7. When the cookies are cool, make your chocolate topping by melting the chocolate (I used the microwave), and then mixing in the coconut oil and soy sauce. 
  8. Drizzle this topping on the cookies, sprinkle on some more pistachios, and allow to cool.