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8 Tips for Using MSG in Cooking and in Recipes

By July 14, 2023March 18th, 2024MSG in Cooking, Savory Cuisine Corner
tips for using msg in cooking

Where does MSG work best in recipes and in cooking? Think meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, soups, casseroles, egg dishes, gravies and sauces.

Using MSG (monosodium glutamate) gives flexibility for reducing the salt in recipes since MSG has two-thirds less sodium than table salt. Play around with reducing the salt while adding a sprinkle of MSG. Often it’s possible to reduce the overall sodium in a recipe by almost half without diminishing the good taste.

MSG makes good quality food taste better, but will not improve the flavor of poor quality food.

Likewise, don’t overdo. Overuse of MSG or other seasonings may result in an undesirable taste.

As with all flavorings and spices, taste levels may vary from individual to individual.

Approximately one-half teaspoon of MSG is an effective amount to enhance the flavor of a pound of meat or four-to-six servings of vegetables, casseroles or soup.

MSG is added to foods before or during cooking. Add it at the same time during the cooking process as you would add salt, pepper or other seasonings.

MSG harmonizes well with salty and sour tastes, but it contributes little or nothing to sweet or bitter foods.

Note: Popular brands for MSG (aka Umami Seasoning) that you can most likely find in your local grocery store in the spices/seasonings section: Ac’cent, Ajinomoto, or Vedan brand. You’ll also find these products available for purchase online.

The MSGdish Team's goal is to provide timely and important information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the many culinary creations inspired by “umami" while connecting these topics to facts about food, taste, and health. The MSGdish Team is comprised of TGA staff professionals who are recognized as experts in science-based nutrition communications. Read more on the About page.


  • Jerome Turner says:

    Thank you for this site! Ive been looking for something similar. MSG has got a bad rap and its nice to see some progression! Worked at a famous steak house for years and half of their seasoning blend is msg.

  • Ann Lim says:

    Yes, that is right. My Chinese friend told me that and I always add towards the end of the cooking process. Also going at high heat is what makes Chinese dishes so delicious especially the stir fry dishes.

  • MSGdishTeam says:

    Chu, thanks for your comment. Chefs have many varying opinions about the right time to add MSG for optimal umami flavor, but just like salt and pepper when MSG is added it can be part of the tasting process before the dish is finished!

  • chu says:

    MSG should be added when the food is almost done cooking. Don’t use it for high temperature.

  • Sara with an H says:

    I need information on what to mix it with. If I’m making chow mein which I’m planning on do I mix it with oil do I mix it with water do I mix it with what?

  • Kevin K. says:

    Thanks for these great tips for using MSG in cooking. I’ve used MSG for a long time to give a flavor boost in casseroles and on steaks. But I never tried it on eggs before… the umami boost adds the wow factor for sure!

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