My Recipe

Stir-fried Sweet Potato Noodle with Pork, Kim Chi and Zucchini


250 g sweet potato noodle
8 oz pork tenderloin
4 oz kim chi
7 oz zucchini
4 oz red onion
1 Tbsp garlic (minced)

Pork Marinade:

2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp oil

Noodle Seasoning:

2 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp water


  1. Cut pork into thin slices. Add marinade and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cut kim chi into smaller pieces.
  3. Slice zucchini lengthwise as thin as possible, preferably using a mandoline.
  4. Thinly slice red onion.
  5. Mix noodle seasoning.
  6. Boil 12 cups of water in a wok. Add noodle, stir and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 8 minutes or according to package instruction. Remove and rinse noodle with running cold tap water until completely cooled. Remove and drain. Cut into shorter sections.
  7. Heat wok and add 1 Tbsp oil. Sauté half of the garlic until fragrant. Add half of the marinated pork and stir-fry until no longer pink. Remove. Add another 1 Tbsp oil to wok. Sauté remaining garlic until fragrant. Stir-fry remaining pork until no longer pink. Remove together with previously cooked portion.
  8. Rinse, dry, reheat wok and add 1 Tbsp oil. Sauté onion for 1 minute. Add kim chi and zucchini. Stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add noodle seasoning and noodle. Keep tossing until seasoning is absorbed and noodle is heated through. Return pork to wok. Toss to combine. Remove and serve.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 290, Fat 10.5 g, Carbohydrate 38 g, Fibre 1 g, Sugar 10 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Sodium 669 mg, Protein 11 g.

Chart of the Day: Recommended Sleep

Hours of Sleep

Enlarge image ….

Source: National Sleep Foundation

The Savoury Science of Umami

In the latter half of the 20th century, it was widely accepted that humans could discern four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. In fact, you might even remember learning about the “tongue map,” where taste buds for sweet were believed to be located only at the tip of the tongue, sour and salty receptors at the sides and bitter near the back—a now-disproved theory that was widely held since the first half of 1900s.

Both of these have been disproved. On the tongue, while there might be areas of heightened sensitivities to specific tastes, all tastes can be detected anywhere taste receptors reside. And, there are at least five basic tastes recognized today, the fifth being “umami,” generally defined as “savory” or “deliciousness.” This fifth taste was identified by chemist Kikunae Ikeda, PhD, of Tokyo Imperial University, who found that seaweed (kombu) soup contained high levels of the glutamate (glutamic acid), producing a taste called umami: “Those who pay careful attention to their tastebuds will discover in the complex flavour of asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat, a common and yet absolutely singular taste which cannot be called sweet, or sour, or salty, or bitter…” (Eighth International Congress of Applied Chemistry, Washington 1912).

In the 1980s and 90s, science rediscovered the existence of umami and in 2002 identified its taste receptor. And, as they say, the rest was history. Not only has umami been universally recognized in sensory science, it’s become the darling of professionals looking to enhance the taste of savory foods.

A new paper, “Science of umami taste: adaptation to gastronomic culture,” by Kumiko Ninomiya (Flavour 2015, 4:13) describes the history and science behind umami, noting that it can be leveraged, not just for tastier foods, but for healthier ones. The author notes that using umami taste:

  • Can increase the palatability of low-salt foods
  • May have the ability to improve the palatability of low-fat foods
  • Could improve the acceptability and palatability of food served in hospitals and nursing homes for the elderly.

Of note, the science of umami pinpointed the sources of the flavor, including the original identification of free glutamate in dashi (kombu soup) by Ikeda, 5′-inosinate (the salt of inosine-5′-monophosphate, IMP) in dried bonito by Shintaro Kodama, and 5′-guanylate (disodium 5′-guanylate, GMP) in dried shiitake mushrooms by Akira Kuninaka. Ikeda and Saburosuke Suzuki developed monosodium glutamate (MSG) seasoning, by extracting the pure compound from seaweeds. What’s more, at the turn of the century, in Europe, Julius Maggi, created flavorful, easy to prepare dehydrated soups from roasted beans, which provided umami via hydrolyzed proteins from the beans.

These flavor-enhancing tools are all quite familiar to today’s food scientist. At the same time, they’ve received a persistent notoriety among food purists as some sort of dangerous chemicals in our food supply. (Due in a large part to widely disseminated, although not widely accepted, research regarding “excitotoxins,” as well as the perceived dangers of consuming things that are difficult to pronounce—the former disputed by a large volume of safety studies, and the latter being a bit of a head-scratcher unless perhaps there’s some sort of choking hazard with becoming tongue-tied when reading the label.)

The Flavour article reminds us of these flavor enhancers’ long, natural history and how their use can bring positive nutritional effects. It certainly establishes that they are ingredients your great grandmother would recognize as food. And should your target market still shy away from these ingredients, you can always use ingredients where the flavor-enhancing compounds occur naturally, like dried shy-takey mushrooms—or however you pronounce that.

Source: Food Product Design

Read more at Flavour Journal ….

Science of umami taste: adaptation to gastronomic culture …..

Classic Finger Food with Cheese and Filo


8 oz whole-milk ricotta cheese
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
6 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 shallots, minced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper
7 sheets frozen filo dough, thawed
3 oz unsalted butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, feta, mozzarella, shallots, parsley, egg, a generous 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Using 2 forks or your hands, toss thoroughly until all the filling ingredients are uniformly combined.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking sheets.
  3. Cut the whole stack of thawed filo lengthwise into quarters. Each strip will be about 3-1/2 inches wide. Working with 1 filo strip at a time and keeping the others covered with a barely damp towel, place the filo strip on a dry work surface. Brush it lightly but thoroughly with the melted butter.
  4. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling 1 inch from the bottom edge. Fold the lower right corner of the pastry up and over the filling, forming a triangle. Roll the triangle straight forward, then again on a diagonal. Continue folding, forming a triangle each time, until you reach the end of the strip. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and brush the top of the triangle with a little more butter. Use the remaining filo and filling to make the remaining triangles, placing them on the baking sheet(s).
  5. Bake the triangles until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes (the filling will be very hot), then serve.

Makes 28 warm triangles.

Source: Hors Doeuvre

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