Do you Umami?

You probably know by now that naturally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce is a great source of umami, the savory “fifth taste” that’s become part of the current culinary vocabulary. But did you know that umami is also found in ripe tomatoes, mature potatoes, aged meat and cheeses, ham and many other foods that rank near the top on the list of comfort food favorites? And cooking brings out umami even more—think of the appetizing aroma and flavor of a toasted cheese sandwich, a crackling-skinned roast chicken, or a long-simmered beef stew. “Umami synergy” describes the enhancing effect that two or more umami-rich ingredients have on each other, amplifying the overall meaty, mouth-coating taste. Since browning, roasting, caramelizing and braising all result in umami flavor compounds, combining these cooking methods with umami-rich ingredients adds a whole new dimension of flavor.

Here’s how:
• Braise pot roast in Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce and water, along
with your favorite vegetables like potatoes and carrots.
• Bump up the flavor of mac ’n’ cheese by adding a splash of soy sauce to
the cheese sauce (and sprinkle with Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs for the
crunchiest topping ever!).
• Use soy sauce instead of salt to add rich taste—and color—to your grandmother’s
chicken soup recipe.
Kikkoman Soy Sauce joins forces with pasta sauce and mushrooms to demonstrate the power of “umami synergy.” That’s the secret that makes this comfort classic even better!

1 (16-ounce) package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 (28-ounce) jar pasta sauce
1⁄2 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce, divided
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles according to package directions. In large skillet, heat oil; add onion and mushrooms and sauté until onion is translucent. Stir in pasta sauce and 1⁄4 cup of the soy sauce; heat through. In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and remaining soy sauce. Spread a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Layer with noodles, cheese mixture and mozzarella cheese. Continue layering, ending with a final layer of noodles and pasta sauce. Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Next week: Super Bowl Bites

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