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MSG in the Kitchen

MSG in the Kitchen

Cooking Facts and Fallacies

Quick Tips on Cooking with MSG


Quick Tips on Cooking with MSG

How much MSG to use:
There's an easy "rule of thumb" for using MSG.

Here it is:

  • Use 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat.
  • Use 1/2 teaspoon per 4-6 servings of vegetables/casserole/soup.

Using more than the recommended amounts of MSG doesn't make food taste even better (and it isn't dangerous health-wise, either.) In fact, using too much can actually cause a decline in flavor—definitely not what you're after!

Cooking a low sodium recipe with MSG:
If you are on a strict reduced-sodium diet, you'll need to have your dietitian look at the recipe and calculate the sodium content to see if it fits into your diet.

If you're just trying to cut back on sodium in your diet, MSG can definitely help add flavor to your food while keeping sodium levels in check. How? By cutting back on the amount of table salt used in a recipe, and adding a little MSG, you can boost the flavor of the dish with very little sodium. Getting the dish to taste exactly as you like may take some experimentation, but it's not difficult. Here's an example of how to do it.

If a soup recipe that yields 6 servings calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, cut it back to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon of MSG to it. This change would result in a "savings" of 900 mg of sodium, or 150 mg of sodium per serving.

Modifying recipes in this way is an easy way to lower your sodium intake without giving up taste. Try it!

When to add MSG to a dish:
Generally MSG is added to foods before or during cooking and not at the table. For steaks or other meats, sprinkle it on before cooking at the same time you season the meat with salt, pepper, etc. For casseroles, soup or vegetable dishes, you'd add MSG during the cooking process.

Where to find MSG at the supermarket:
It's usually sold in the seasoning section of the supermarket or in the ethnic foods section. If you have trouble locating it, ask a store employee or the store manager for help.