Mushrooms: Beef Proxy
Mushrooms are so high in umami that they routinely act as a stand-in for meat. We use them in our Reduced-Fat Meatballs and Marinara to replace some of the meat, eliminating calories and fat in the process. But while all mushrooms contribute meaty flavor, dried mushrooms deliver the most umami, because they are concentrated. We often use dried porcini or shiitake to build flavor in longer-cooking dishes.