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May 15, 2012 08:35 PM

MSG after the fact?

A question for those who cook with monosodium glutamate:
Do you ever or have you ever sprinkled the MSG on after the cooking was finished, the way one might add salt or sugar or soy sauce to fine-tune the taste?

I'm wondering about this because I noticed there was something missing in the taste of a dish I'd prepared and then realized I'd forgotten to add MSG while cooking. The problem is that adding MSG at the end just seemed totally wrong. And yet, it's kind of like salt in a way, isn't it?

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  1. Even though I don't use MSG as much as I once did, I have used it that way many times without any problem. I grew up with a package of "Ac'cent" on the dinner table. Just be very careful not to use too much and don't use it at all if you use salt in the dish. Sodium chloride and monosodium glutamate together can produce some unpleasant flavors. A VERY light general dusting is all that is needed. Too much will produce flavors you wouldn't want in your carefully prepared meal. By "produce flavors", I don't mean to imply that MSG has a flavor of its own. It is essentially flavorless. But it is a chemical and when combined with other chemicals (e.g table salt) or when used in excess it seems, IMO, to confuse the flavor receptors when the food is being eaten.

    1. No, and I would never do it on anything that is solid -- as opposed to liquid -- based.

      You want it to dissolve and meld with the other flavors for as long as possible, and you need heat to make that happen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Agree. I tried that with scrambled eggs once and crunching into those crystals was like eating sand. MSG absolutely must be dissolved.

      2. Well, I tried it (sprinkled just a little bit, like salt) and the flavor of the dish was improved.

        Btw, Todao, when cooking with MSG, I always use salt (or soy sauce) in the dish.
        I haven't checked my blood pressure after eating, but as far as the taste goes, it hasn't been a problem.