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Umami Recipes for a Cold Winter’s Night

By January 12, 2023January 15th, 2023Featured, Savory Cuisine Corner
umami recipes

Many of us heard about the “Umami Burger” craze while it was sweeping the nation. But say you don’t want to go out to eat and instead want to create your own delectable Umami creation in the comfort of your own home (and oven!).

Here’s a couple of mouth-watering hot main dishes for you to consider when trying umami recipes. Special thanks go to the Umami Information Center for letting MSGdish feature these wonderful umami recipes.

Easy Cod and Oyster Gratin

What could be more comforting and welcoming on a cold winter's night than a bubbling hot gratin (with just a few minutes under the broiler)? This delicious recipe provides umami in the form of oysters and grated cheese. Ideal served with some crusty bread.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2


  • 8 oysters
  • 1 cod fillet
  • 8 oz. chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 potato
  • 3 tsp. flour
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup grated cheese e.g. cheddar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. chopped parsley


  1. Clean the oysters in salted water and dry well. Cut the cod into bite-sized chunks. Cut the spring onion into ½ inch lengths, and slice the potato into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to boil, add the oysters and cod and poach quickly. Remove the oysters and cod, and reserve the cooking liquid.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and fry the spring onion and potato, before adding the flour. When the flour has formed a paste, begin to gradually add the milk and the cooking liquid, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Pour half of the sauce into an oven-proof dish, and then add the oysters and cod. Top with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place under the oven broiler until lightly browned on top.
  5. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of

Provencal Style Pork Stew in Tomato Sauce

Very popular in French home cooking. This combination of thyme and garlic is enough to whet anyone's appetite! The secret to this recipe is to grill both sides of the pork before stewing, which traps the umami in the meat.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2


  • 3/4 lb. shoulder of roast pork 12-14 oz.
  • 1 15-16 oz. can tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • ½ carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Some salt and pepper to season
  • Some parsley chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Seasoning for Pork:

  • Some salt and pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme

Seasoning for Sauce:

  • Some salt and pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Rub the salt, pepper and dried thyme into the pork.
  2. Slice the tomatoes into large chunks keeping the juice for later use. Cut the onions in half and slice. Slice the carrots and finely chop the garlic.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and, turning frequently, fry both sides of the pork until golden brown.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil to the pork, then add the garlic, onions and carrots respectively. Fry quickly before adding the wine, tomatoes with juice and all seasonings for the sauce. Cover with a lid and then stew for 1 hour on low heat. Should the stew be too thin, remove the lid and boil for a while until the excess has evaporated.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and some lemon juice if desired.
  6. Slice the pork into strips that are ½ to 1 inch wide and, together with the sauce, place on a dish and garnish with parsley.

Recipe Notes

Try this dish together with buttered rice by mixing 1 Tbsp. of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper with the equivalent of 3 bowls of hot rice.

Recipe courtesy of

Find more delicious, savory recipes in the MSGdish Savory Cuisine Corner.

The MSGdish Team's goal is to provide timely and important information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the many culinary creations inspired by “umami" while connecting these topics to facts about food, taste, and health. The MSGdish Team is comprised of TGA staff professionals who are recognized as experts in science-based nutrition communications. Read more on the About page.

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