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How to get that rich, umami flavor in your cooking without meat

If you've reduced the amount of meat you eat but are still missing that meaty flavor, here's a quick way to add in a umami flavor. The umami taste is a slightly salty, rich one that resembles meat. Meat proteins have amino acids which lend it a particular flavor. But you can mimic the taste of meat and benefit from additional nutrition by making a quick broth with shiitake mushrooms.

meatless broth

To make a shiitake broth:

  1. Wash and trim half a cup of shiitake mushrooms. Slice, but leave the stems on; they add a rich flavor.

  2. Place in a pot with water to cover, along with salt and pepper.

  3. Bring to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes.

  4. You can strain the broth and use the mushrooms in another dish. If you do not strain the broth, cut the stems off, as they tend to be tough to chew.

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