Umami Mushroom Tacos

How is umami taste profile beneficial for your gut?

Umami is one of the five basic tastes along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. It was discovered over a century ago, and is a Japanese word meaning "pleasantly savory." Umami flavor specifically describes the taste of three substances present in food: glutamate, 5'-inosinate, and 5'-guanylate. The three umami compounds are typically found in high-protein foods as well as mushrooms, soy, sea vegetables, many herbs, and spices.

Glutamic acid is an amino acid (a smaller unit of a protein molecule) that is converted to glutamine in our bodies. Glutamine is a fuel source for cells in the small intestine and large bowel. It is necessary for the maintenance of gut villi (finger-like projections in the intestines which help with absorbing nutrients and increasing surface-area to enhance absorption) and can prevent inflammatory microbes from entering the small intestine or bowel wall. Umami dishes are great for vegans who want a little meaty and salty taste in their diet, and umami can help the digestion process as it aids in saliva production, priming the body for efficient digestion.

Ways to eat it

Some of the most common umami foods due to their glutamate content are:

  • Seaweed, soy-based foods (soy sauce, miso, Natto, soybeans), kimchi, green tea, tomatoes, mushrooms, marmite (flavored yeast spread), oyster sauce, corn, green peas, garlic, lotus root, and potatoes

Recipe: Umami Mushroom Tacos

Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):

  • 6 umami mushroom caps, halved

  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped or 2 tsp chili powder (optional)

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 small pineapple, cubed

  • 1/4 onion, chopped

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • 1 large pinch Himalayan pink salt

  • cassava tortillas, warmed


  1. Blend the garlic, almond butter, lime juice, dates, and water in a blender until smooth.

  2. Sauté the carrots, pepper, cabbage, and sprouts for 5 minutes.

  3. Only add a little mushroom broth to keep it from sticking to the pan.

  4. Cook noodles according to the directions.

  5. Add noodles to the cooked veggies.

  6. Add half of the sauce and cook for a few minutes.

  7. Stir in remaining sauce (or keep for another batch).

  8. Enjoy with Cassava tortillas!

Heal with each meal!

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Flesher, M. (n.d.). Glutamine. Gastrointestinal Society.

International Glutamate Information Service. (2018, July 11). Umami Taste Important for Overall

Health. Glutamate.

Kim, M. H., & Kim, H. (2017). The Roles of Glutamine in the Intestine and Its Implication in

Intestinal Diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(5), 1051.

Raman, R. (2019, January 21). 16 Healthy Foods Packed with Umami Flavor. Healthline.

“The Fifth Taste: Discovering the Savory Benefits of Umami.” Institute of Culinary Education, 1

Jan. 1970,

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