The main dish was chosen as Vegetarian Ramen for a guest lady from Israel who has been vegetarian for many years. Side dishes include cold fresh cabbage with Konbu, Gyoza dumplings with lotus root, Kaki (persimmon) & greens dressed with creamy Tofu sauce, etc.
My guest was very interested in Japanese Dashi soup stock with dried Shiitake mushrooms & Kombu kelp. Both are essential products for Umami in our cuisine.
Kombu is very rich in glutamate or glutamic acid, which is contained in most vegetables but by far the most in dried Kombu. Another ingredient known for richness in glutamate is dried tomato.
Dried shiitake is known for its richness in guanylic acid or GMP, like many kinds of mushrooms around the world including dried porcini. This may be explaining why many Japanese people are deeply in love with Italian food!?
My guest lady was a medicinal food professional with vast knowledge about Chinese herbal medicine & diet, so it was very inspiring to share some time with her in the kitchen cooking and talking about various vegetables and foods!
Many thanks for coming! Akiko