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Boosting the Savory Flavor of Foods

msg cooking

Home cooks: Have you wondered how to improve your traditional recipes by using MSG, and want to know more about how and when to add MSG to your cooking? If so, you’re not alone!

I’m pleased to introduce a new “Cooking with MSG” video series. There are 5 videos total, now on the MSGdish YouTube channel, where you’ll learn how to get delicious results when you cook with MSG!

Let’s start with video #1, Cooking with MSG: Boosting the Savory Flavor of Foods:

The full transcript:

You may already know that umami is one of our five tastes, along with sweet, bitter, sour, and salty. Umami is that savory flavor we enjoy so much, and MSG is the purest form of umami.

We know that monosodium glutamate, or MSG, makes food taste amazing. But, I’m are often asked when do you add MSG to food? Before cooking, during cooking, after cooking? The answer is yes! You can add MSG before, during and after cooking.

There are some recipes where it makes sense to add MSG during the cooking process. For instance, I like to add it to grains while they cook so that the grains can absorb the umami. Try adding ½ teaspoon of MSG for each quart or 4 cups of liquid.

MSG can be sprinkled onto the surface of meats, poultry or fish, along with salt, pepper, and other seasonings. Then go ahead and sauté, roast or grill it. MSG is also great as part of a dry rub for BBQ.

MSG can be added to foods right before they are served. The best strategy here is to add a small amount, taste it, and then keep adding more until you think it tastes amazing. For instance, a last-minute sprinkle into a pot of soup or a sprinkle on some fajita meat can work wonders.

When a recipe says, “taste before serving,” it’s not just referring to salt and pepper, but also to umami. And MSG makes upping the umami note so easy – and delicious. So feel free to add it to all of your recipes.

MSG can be purchased online and in many grocery stores and international food markets.

For more recipes and information, visit the “Savory Cuisine Corner” section on

Chef Christopher Koetke is Corporate Executive Chef at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition, North America. He previously was the Chief Consultant at Complete Culinary, LLC, and Dean of the Sun Valley Culinary Institute. He is a past Vice President of both the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts. “Chef Chris” joined the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in 1998, serving first as a culinary instructor and later as associate dean, dean and executive director. Chef Chris began cooking professionally in 1982, and has worked in some of the world’s finest kitchens. He is a certified executive chef and certified culinary educator by the American Culinary Federation. Read more about his background on the About page.

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