Recipes for Umami Foods
Lasagna with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce
Slow-roasting the tomatoes gives the tomato sauce for this lasagna recipe an intense depth of flavor--which is then enhanced by the umami in onions, Parmesan and spinach. The lasagna noodles are layered into the lasagna uncooked; the moisture from the fresh spinach cooks them perfectly as the lasagna bakes in the oven.
Rice Noodle & Edamame Salad
Seaweed asserts its umami magic in this beautiful noodle-edamame salad recipe, which is perfect for a summer evening. Several types of dried seaweed are available in natural-foods markets--arame and dulse (sometimes called “sea vegetables”) are two of the most common. Snipped pieces of nori (the seaweed used for sushi rolls) would work too.
Three-Pea, Cashew & Tofu Stir-Fry
Pressing tofu before making this tofu stir-fry recipe gives it a chewy, satisfying texture. Three green peas--sugar snaps, snow peas and shelling peas--balance it out with brightly flavored crunch. Hoisin--a dark brown, thick, spicy-sweet sauce made from soybeans and a complex mix of spices--gives the stir-fry rich depth of flavor with just one ingredient. Look for it, as well as chile-garlic sauce, in the Asian section of the market.
Blue Cheese Portobello Burgers
Blue cheese and slow-cooked onions turn a grilled portobello into an indulgent portobello burger. Ruby port--a sweet fortified wine--gives extra depth of flavor to the caramelized onions.
Tofu & Vegetable Stew
A predominance of umami ingredients (tofu, miso, eggs and soy sauce) make this chunky vegetable stew recipe wonderfully hearty. Use firm silken tofu if you prefer a soft texture; opt for regular firm tofu for more chew.
Asparagus & Mushroom Risotto
For this deep, rich red-wine mushroom risotto recipe with fresh spring asparagus, we like it best when it's made with mushroom broth (which you can find in well-stocked supermarkets), but any type of vegetarian broth works.
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
A sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil transform tomatoes into the perfect side dish. Or try sandwiching them between slices of your favorite whole-wheat country bread.
Five-Spice Shrimp & Vegetable Packets
Chinese five-spice powder makes this combo of shrimp, corn, snap peas and bell pepper sublime. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
Miso Soup with Clams & Spinach
The round, rich taste (also known as umami) of miso soup perfectly complements plump, briny clams. For the base of the soup you can use just water and miso, which you can find at most supermarkets. But if you can find dashi granules, they're worth adding for a more intense umami taste.
Seaweed & Tofu Soup
Korean meals always include soups--like this mild one based on vitamin-rich wakame seaweed, the same kind often used in miso soup.
Edamame Lo Mein
This is not the greasy Lo Mein of your favorite Chinese take-out, it tastes even better. Plus you get plenty of nutrients with the addition of edamame, a great vegetarian protein source. Make it a Meal: Fruit sorbet and sesame cookies are a perfect ending.