[ Seafood ]▼Kombu, ▼Seaweed, ▼Katsuobush/Dried bonito flakes, ▼Bonito, ▼Niboshi, ▼Small dried sardines, ▼Mackerel, ▼Sea bream, ▼Tuna, ▼Cod, ▼Prawns, ▼Squid, ▼Oysters, ▼Shellfish,
Kombu is a general term for brown algae. There are various species of algae. Among them, those most commonly used as dashi (Japanese stock) materials are makombu, rishiri-kombu, rausu-kombu and hidaka-kombu which are only harvested around the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Kombu, growing 3-10 meters long in two years on the coasts of Hokkaido, is harvested and sun dried on the beach before being shipped. Only Kombu which has matured for two years is used for cooking, as one-year-old kombu, called 'water kombu', does not contain the rich components needed for a good flavour.
Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) :
Sea Vegetables - Wakame and Nori
The sea vegetables wakame and nori have been a part of the Japanese diet since ancient times. Wakame can be found on the Pacific coast of Japan anywhere south of the town of Muroran in Hokkaido, and on the Japan sea coast on most of the coastline south of Hokkaido. Sanriku, Naruto and Izumo are particularly famous harvesting grounds for wakame. Most wakame is preserved, either by being dried or salted. It is often used as an ingredient in miso soup and vinegared salads called su-no-mono. Nori is dried and made into sheets and it is an important ingredient in sushi and many other Japanese dishes. It is also known as laver, which in Wales is traditionally eaten as a sautee with butter, called laver bread. In Japan nori is usually cultivated around the coast and harvested from November to April.
Katsuobushi / Dried bonito flakes
Bonito is a type of tuna fish that is dried for use in Japanese cooking. Once dried, it becomes as hard as wood and keeps indefinitely. Using a tool resembling a carpenter's plane, dried bonito is shaved into flakes that smell strongly of the sea and is used in salads, as a garnish or seasoning for a variety of dishes or to flavour dashi (Japanese stock).
A seawater fish of the mackerel family. This fish is used to make katsuobushi, or dried, fermented flakes and this and other uses make it an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. As well as being served raw as sashimi or tataki (where the outer portion of the fish only is heated), it is also used in simmered dishes and canned. It is also eaten extensively in the West, where it is also known as skipjack tuna. The fresh bonito itself does not have especially high levels of umami substances, but when prepared as katsuobushi by being matured and fermented over six months it develops high levels of inosinate.
Levels of naturally occurring inosinate (mg/100g) ：285
Niboshi / Small Dried Sardines
Niboshi are small sardines that have been boiled and then dried. They are used to make a strong dashi (Japanese stock) especially for hearty simmered dishes.
Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) :50
Abundant in unsaturated fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, this fish has long been treasured around the world as an important source of nutrients. Particularly famed are the olive oil marinated and salted anchovies found in Italian and Spanish cuisine. For a long time, they have been combined in Italy in Spain with tomatoes, which are also rich in inosinate, in dishes such as pizza, pasta and paella, while in Japan they have featured in tsumirejiru (soup with fish dumplings) and been simmered with ume (Japanese apricot). These are all quintessential umami rich dishes from East and West. Recently, however, stocks have been decreasing to such an extent globally that it said that the humble sardine may go from being a fish of the masses to being a delicacy.
Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) :280
This popular sea fish is caught and eaten the world over. Because it has a tendency to lose its freshness relatively quickly, and its fishy smell is quite noticeable, it is more often than not eaten cooked in some form or other, for example smoked, vinegared, salt-grilled, and simmered. Specimens caught in autumn and winter in Japan tend to have a higher fat content and are rich in inosinate and, consequently, umami.
Levels of naturally occurring inosinate (mg/100g) :215
General term for a number of sea fish of the bream family. This versatile fish can be prepared in numerous ways, including as sashimi, salt grilled, simmered, marinated in kombu, baked in casseroles and mixed with cooked rice. Because the inosinate contained in sea bream does not readily break down, it offers an umami rich taste.
Levels of naturally occurring inosinate (mg/100g) :215
The term tuna encompasses a number of varieties of fish from the tuna sub group of the mackerel family. Tuna is found in oceans worldwide, and is enjoyed everywhere. As well as being eaten as sashimi and in sushi, it is the main ingredient in the famous Salad Nicoise and is also famously processed and sold in cans. High levels of inosinate are found in the red flesh of the fish. Due in part to the worldwide boom in popularity of sushi, available stocks are diminishing, and this is becoming a cause for concern around the world.
Levels of naturally occurring inosinate (mg/100g) :188
A general term for a number of species of the cod family. The relatively subtle taste of this fish is due to the lower levels of inosinate compared with red fleshed fish. It is often cooked with other flavours, for example in simmered dishes. It is also often fried, such as in the British dish fish and chips, and the Fillet o'Fish burger.
Levels of naturally occurring inosinate (mg/100g) :44
Many varieties of these crustaceans are found around the world, and have been enjoyed since ancient times. It is a convenient ingredient to use, and is used abundantly in many cuisines around the world, including French, Chinese and Thai. Shirmps and prawns contain an amino acid called glycin, and this, combined with glutamates and inosinates, serve to create a unique umami taste. South East Asia is home to a number of fermented seasonings made from shrimps and prawns, all of which are rich in umami.
Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) :43
A general term for cuttlefish and arrow squid. No part of the squid is wasted, from the flesh to the ink, and it is prized for its ability to be preserved in dishes such as shiokara (salted internal organs) and surume (dried squid). The white substance found on the surface of surume is in fact a type of amino acid called taurine. World-wide, while the Jewish religion forbids the consumption of seafood without scales such as octopus and squid, they are both popular in Mediterranean cooking.
Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) :146
The general term for a number of varieties of bivalve. The oyster has long been prized around the world as a seafood that can be enjoyed raw. Oyster sauce, meanwhile, is an umami rich condiment, high in glutamate, that is used in Chinese cuisine. Oysters are in season during autumn and winter, and during this time the umami levels are increased. Such is the level of nutrients they offer that oysters are sometimes referred to as the 'milk of the sea'. As well as containing amino acids they also offer high levels of zinc, and can also help enhance your sense of taste..
Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) :137
A general term for a variety of soft bodied, shelled sea creatures, including clams, scallops and mussels. Some shellfish cannot be eaten raw and must be cooked first. All are rich in nutrients, including taurine and calcium. In particular, scallops contain high levels of a number of different amino acids, and are used in cooking as a rich source of umami.