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Oct 23, 2006 04:21 PM

Using MSG in home cooking

Hi there,

I've been intrigued by some recent news that I've read and heard about Umami as well as MSG. I don't suffer from any allergy to MSG, so I'm interested in trying to use it in some of my cooking. Does anyone have any advice on how best to incorporate MSG into recipes or foods? I’m curious about quantity, when to add it, what ingredients match best, what doesn’t? Really, any info would be great.


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  1. Just sprinkle some in when you feel like a dish is "flat" or lacking something.

    For instance, one place I often use MSG is when I'm making guacamole, and the avocados aren't perfectly ripe or lack flavor.

    I don't really have recipes that call for it -- it's more of a flavor enhancer, used in addition to (or in place of) salt to properly season a dish, like if you taste a dish and it's not really salt it needs, but something else you can't put your finger on.

    I don't really measure, just sprinkle some in -- probably less than a 1/2 tsp.

    1. You know, besides MSG, have you ever tried a teeny bit of sour salt to perk up the flavor? (it's citric acid, and in judicious amounts, sometimes works very well).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Alice Letseat

        Where the heck do you find citric acid. I look high and low in markets and cann ot find. On the net maybe? Please help, I have a recipe for "sweet and sour meat" that my mother made that calls for citric acid. Tried lemon juice and it ain;t the same, please?

        1. re: jfood

          Kosher foods section--'sour salt'

          1. re: jfood

            A lot of shops have pure citric acid, for example Trader Joe

            1. re: honkman

              thanks guys, will take a harder look.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I don't use very often, but I like to use a little in eggs, seems to boost up the flavor and also, of course in the Asian food I make. Like Dana said, it takes very little, but does enhance the flavor of a dish that's just a bit blah. Watch out tho, too much and your dish can be ruined.

              1. The original comment has been removed