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Old 02-09-2014, 02:05 PM   #1
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ISO how to add "umami" flavor to food?

So I just leaned about the "5th taste" called umami. The video said it comes naturally in some food but can also be in form of monosodium glutamate as food additive. I'm not a chef, but I'm eager to try adding that taste to different foods.
What do I need? Just glutamate?
glutamate | eBay

Many thanks!

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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Hi, cipher0 and welcome to DC!

I'm not a chef either - you don't need to be to cook well I've been learning about umami flavor and how to boost it in foods for a few years now. In short, it deepens savory, meaty flavors and makes a dish taste more complex. You can use something like Accent flavor enhancer to do that, but I prefer to use foods.

I'm about to take a nap, so I'll just say a couple quick things:
[*] Foods like mushrooms, red wine, Parmesan cheese (aged imported Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the rind is best), anchovies, soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce add umami flavor. DH (my Dear Husband) doesn't like the texture of mushrooms, so I puree them.
[*] Beef stew will taste much better with red wine and mushrooms than without, and sauces, soups and stews with tomatoes are much better with 'shrooms, red wine and/or a 2x2 inch square of Parmesan cheese rind (save it in the freezer).

More later. Have fun looking around the site!
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Hi ciphero, and welcome to Discuss Cooking.

Be careful that who ever you are cooking for is not allergic to monosodium glutamate (MSG) as some people are. My family isn't and I always have Accent in my spice cupboard. I see no reason to order it online.
Many foods already have the unmistakable umami thing going on such as bacon.
There was a recent post here about umami and anchovy paste being used on pork chops that might interest you.
Perfect grilled pork chops.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:06 PM   #4
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Thanks everybody.
Im on a vegetarian diet so my options for "natural umami" aren't much. Plus I'd like to experiment how it changes the taste of some foods.

I couldnt find glucamate in our local stores...
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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since you are a vegetarian, this site should be interesting...

Tips to Add Umami Flavor to Vegan & Vegetarian Food and Recipes : EcoSalon | Conscious Culture and Fashion
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher0 View Post
Thanks everybody.
Im on a vegetarian diet so my options for "natural umami" aren't much. Plus I'd like to experiment how it changes the taste of some foods.

I couldnt find glucamate in our local stores...
I think all of the options suggested above besides anchovies are vegetarian.

Soy sauce is the easiest and one of the best ways to add a umami boost.

Also look for Goya Sazon in orange packets in the supermarket. It's a MSG and spice mix.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher0 View Post
Thanks everybody.
Im on a vegetarian diet so my options for "natural umami" aren't much. Plus I'd like to experiment how it changes the taste of some foods.

I couldnt find glucamate in our local stores...
Accent is a brand name of monosodium glutamate (MSG). It's available everywhere in the spice section.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher0 View Post
Thanks everybody.
Im on a vegetarian diet so my options for "natural umami" aren't much. Plus I'd like to experiment how it changes the taste of some foods.

I couldnt find glucamate in our local stores...
The following foods are high in umami flavors

Kelp
Mushrooms
Miso
Soy Sauce
Tomatoes
Soybeans
Potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Chinese cabbage
Carrots

Depending upon where you look you may see glutamate labeled Aji-No-Moto.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:26 PM   #9
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Very interesting, ppo. I don't remember seeing the last four in lists from Cooks Illustrated. I'd like to read more about it. Can you post the source for this?
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Very interesting, ppo. I don't remember seeing the last four in lists from Cooks Illustrated. I'd like to read more about it. Can you post the source for this?
Sure Umami Information Center
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