Umami,umami umami! I just love that word 🙂 It is our fifth taste. Our others are salty, sweet, sour, & bitter. Umami is a savory taste that we sense with the circumvallate papillae at the back end of the tongue. We have to move the food around the mouth so that all of the taste buds can be stimulated by the various compounds in the food. Interesting is that dry substances have no taste. To perceive the taste of the product it must first dissolve in water or fat for you to experience the taste.
The 5th taste is the umami. Originally found in food products that contain a lot of glutamate, which is an amino acid. The compounds in food that contribute to glutamate, the savory taste are MSG, monosodium glutamate. However, MSG is not the only compound that contributes to umami taste. We have other things like nucleotides like IMP-ionosinemonophosophate, GMP- guanosinemonophosphate acids, which naturally occur in protein-rich foods. These compounds are present in many foods like cheese, meat products like salami and many types of fermented foods.
Mushrooms are one the few vegetables that are rich in selenium. Working along with vitamin E, selenium protects against cell damage from free radicals. Selenium also plays a role in the function of the thyroid and male reproductive system. They are low in calories, fat and sodium. White button mushrooms are a source of three B vitamins—riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. These B vitamins help release energy from the fat, protein and carbohydrates in food.
Mushrooms are a great source of protein for vegetarians. You can get complete protein when combined with other complimentary amino acids.
Chile-Lime Glass Noodles
I love hoisin and chili-garlic sauce. I included the entire recipe, but I don’t always add the Tempeh and use only a teaspoon of sesame oil- it is just as tasty. If you like spice add a little Sriracha sauce 🙂
- 4 oz. glass (cellophane) noodles
- 3 ½ Tbs. hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 Tbs. lime juice
- ½ tsp. chile-garlic sauce
- 1 ½ Tbs. toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 8-oz. pkg. plain tempeh, diced
- 1 12-oz. pkg. button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1 lb. baby bok choy, thinly sliced on diagonal
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced (1 cup)
- 2 ½ Tbs. minced fresh ginger
- ½ cup chopped basil
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Soak noodles in large bowl of hot water 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
2. Whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and chile- garlic sauce.
3. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil in skillet over high heat. Add tempeh, and stir-fry 4 minutes, or until golden on all sides. Add 1/4 cup water, and cook 2 minutes, Transfer tempeh to bowl.
4. Add remaining 1 Tbs. sesame oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and bok choy; stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in noodles and bean sprouts, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in hoisin mixture, green onions, ginger, and tempeh; stir-fry 1 minute. Serve topped with basil and peanuts.
March 2012 p.38
Hope you enjoy!