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The Cookstr Weekly: Umami Me!

January 11, 2013
One of my favorite tools on Cookstr, resting innocuously at the bottom of the advanced search bar, is the series of options that allows you to search by mood, taste and texture. Cookstr editors apply these tags to recipes, meaning that if you’re even in need of an adventurous, hot and spicy meal, we’ve got the recipe for you.
One of these searchable taste tags is umami, the well-known fifth taste characterized by the delicious, savory sensation that occurs when the L-glutamate amino acid in foods like beef, tomatoes and parmesan cheese breaks down. There are the quintessential umami foods, like mushrooms and ramen, and then there are the ones that take you by surprise – like green tea, which turns out to include high levels of naturally occurring glutamate. There’s no need to get too scientific about it, though. Each of the recipes on this list is sure to satisfy in that mouth-watering, lip-smacking way that only umami can do.

Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director

By James Oseland


Seafood and soy make this dish an umami jackpot. Both the soybean paste and soy sauce in this recipe for Stir-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles with Shrimp and Asian Greens are amino-rich and provide the tasty, savory goodness that we look for in stir-fries. The fact that this recipe is done in half an hour doesn’t hurt either. But since everything has to go in the wok quickly, this is a good opportunity to practice mise en place – have your ingredients cleaned, cut, measured and ready to get tossed in the pan. 


More Umami Recipes from Cookstr

By Joyce Goldstein


“In Morocco, zahlouk is the name for a chopped or mashed vegetable salad. It is most commonly associated with eggplant but can be applied to other vegetables as well. (In Tunisia, this kind of salad is called ajlouk.) Cauliflower can be too strong for some palates. Mashing it with charmoula seems to tame its aggressive, cabbagey nature. For contrast, I like to fold in some cubes of zucchini or green beans for color and cooked chickpeas for toothsome chewiness.” – Joyce Goldstein

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