Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Umami Vegan Broth?

Michael Natkin wanted to highlight umami (savoriness) in his vegetable broth:
Umami, of course, is that famed fifth flavor, sensed by receptors that look for glutamate and various ribonucleotides - basically indicators that a food contains protein. It isn't so surprising that we'd be wired to like protein, right?

I want to pack so much umami into this broth that you have one sip and feel your eyes roll back in your head involuntarily. I want to evoke a guttural groan, and in my small sample of testers, that is exactly what has happened.


The vegetarian ingredients best known for high concentrations of glutamates are tomatoes, dried shiitake mushrooms, marmite, kombu seaweed, and parmesan cheese. I decided to include the first four, but omit the parmesan to keep this broth vegan.
Pretty informative. I don't think I'd ever considered what the "umami" ingredients for vegetarian cooking were. The recipe looks good too, but does require a pressure cooker.

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