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What foods are high in umami ("savoriness") and how can I cook them to maximise the umami taste?

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Seems kind of open-ended to me... I'm not really sure how people are supposed to answer this. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 14:08
you are probably right Aaronut, I saw it mentioned in another post and it got me wanting to know... –  Sam Holder Jul 19 '10 at 14:14
Too broad to be really answerable. –  JSBձոգչ Jul 19 '10 at 15:33
Shall I delete this? There are no votes to close yet.... –  Sam Holder Jul 19 '10 at 16:40
I don't think you'll be able to delete it with upvoted answers. I guess it's okay, as a wiki; at least it introduces a concept that some people may not know [much] about. 'Course, the entire thread needs to be wikified, not just the question. –  Aaronut Jul 20 '10 at 1:06

5 Answers 5

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Umami comes from a very specific source: Glutamates and glutamic acid. MSG is a glutamate, so it is one of the best ways to add a bit of umami.

Meat, Kombu seaweed (used to make Dashi, and hence Dashi), mushrooms, onions, cheeses, soy and other beans, most high-protein foods.

Here is a quick list. Most are prepared foods, but it should give you an idea.

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Marmite / Vegemite are also great for bringing out savory flavours.

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  • Anchovies
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fish
  • Meat
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The insides of Tomato's are high. Heston Blumanthal has a recipe for Tomatoe Ketchup that makes use of this.

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Salting tomatoes really brings it out, too. –  ceejayoz Jul 19 '10 at 15:02

Miso. Yummy, too.

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