August 3, 2010

Avocado Pasta and Umami

Not too long ago in Motomachi, Tokyo, I and the girlfriendal unit discovered a pasta restaurant called Goemon (五右衛門*), where they call pasta 洋麺 (yomen, an industry word from western+noodle). I highly recommend the chain. We had some green pasta with avocados mixed in, and it was awesome.

Since then, I have made my own avocado pasta a couple times. I simply make a basil-based noodle dish and add avocado bits.

I'm not the only one out there experimenting with green pastas. Here we can see a YouTuber, Megwin, try out his own recipe which involves a lot of shiso leaves:


Megwin complains in Japanese that the result lacks umami. Umami is technically an English word because we haven't been able to come up with a better one than umami, which is a distinct taste discovered by a Japanese dude in 1908. He went on to the company Ajinomoto, which has an eponymous seasoning product that you probably know as MSG. Maybe if Megwin had used a little more MSG, he could have brought out the umami of his dish.

Anyways, I recommend green pasta sometime to you guys.
*I cannot figure out why Go-e-mon is spelled with four kanji characters but the sounds seem to be one too few. That's not how Japanese usually works. But an alternative spelling offered by wikichan is 五衛門, so I guess that extra character is silent. EDIT: Googled my way to this answer soon after publishing this article.
Bonus vid: Me trying Shiso Pepsi

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  1. Funny, the other day I was listening to a podcast about how "taste" works and they talked a little bit about unami, the 5th flavor. Apparently the French are now saying that flavor #6 is fat.

  2. Umami is savory. It's not exactly new.


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