How to Add Umami to Your Cooking

A happy and yummy meal is often the reason for that smile on your face. Relishing a flavorful meal, even after a very long day feels really nice! Wondering how to amp up your own cooking with umami goodness? It’s simpler than you think. Follow our easy tips and you can have an umami-rich experience with every meal!

1. Use umami-rich ingredients

Ajinomoto Seasoning

Some foods naturally pack a ton of umami. Ripe tomatoes, dried mushrooms, kombu (kelp), anchovies, parmesan cheese, etc..— all of these bring the savory deliciousness of umami to recipes.
Here’s a flavorful Mediterranean dish that uses tomato for the extra umami boost.

2. Use fermented foods

Umami-rich Parsley Miso Pesto

Fermented foods have high umami content. Try using ingredients such as miso paste and soy sauce in your cooking. Be experimental!
Adding this miso twist to your usual pasta will create some umami heaven.

3. Use cured meats

Carpaccio Food

Aged or cured meats abound in umami. Bacon, aged sausages and salami will all bring an umami boost to any recipe.
Try this refreshing carpaccio, which gets its umami from cured ham.

4. Use aged cheeses

Umami Pizza (Quattro Formaggi)

Parmesan isn’t only for pasta —Try this vegetarian pizza made with four types of cheese, each adding a punch of umami making you want more!

5. Use umami-rich seasonings

Testy Beef Burger

Using umami-rich seasonings such as ketchup, molasses, tomato paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, or miso paste will give you a quick fix of umami. Don’t be afraid to innovate. Give this Umami Meatloaf Burger a try and experience it yourself.

6. Use pure umami aka MSG

Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Umami

Or you can get an umami boost by adding monosodium glutamate, aka MSG, to your dish. Next time you’re cooking, put a pinch of MSG into your soups, pasta sauce, salad dressings, meat marinades, and stir-fries. MSG does not add extra calories, unnecessary color or unwanted, complex tastes. It just brings pure umami depth of flavor. Try this Beef and Vegetable Stir-fry to experience the power of umami!

Umami discovery tour in Japan; Nick Lee, award winner in the 1st World Umami Cooking Competition

Professional recipes to help you enjoy umami

What is MSG?

A popular seasoning and flavor enhancer, MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is the purest form of umami, the fifth taste. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is widely used to intensify and enhance umami flavors in sauces, broths, soups and many more foods. Originally associated mainly with Asian cuisines, MSG (monosodium glutamate) is now used around the world to bring out the delicious flavor of foods.

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