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MikeZ

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Other than myself, does anybody else use this in thier cooking sometimes?
 

slowtyper

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I don't, but I am absolutely not against MSG. msg got a really bad rap, which was unfounded.
 

mr drinky

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I'm just a home cook and don't use it, but I do find the story behind it fascinating. Mmhhh, processed umami.

k.
 

JohnnyChance

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i dont stock it or use it regularly, my friends who are Peruvian love it, when I worked with them we would use it all the time. I agree it has a bad rap, IIRC no major studies have found any evidence that it had any actual negative side effects. People told they were eating MSG but were not experienced more side effects than those who did have MSG and didnt know.
 

Eamon Burke

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I don't! I just don't see the need.

Why do you cook with MSG at home?
 

Eamon Burke

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The problem, BTW, with MSG is not that people are allergic to it, its that it encourages people to over-eat. It stimulates your brain in such a way that your ability to monitor hunger can take a backseat to the pleasure ride that is concentrated glutamic acid. It's not just a flavor enhancer, it is a neurostimulant.
 

Vertigo

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I just don't see the need.
My favorite Thai cookbook calls for MSG in quite a few of the recipes, and having cooked a number of them both with and without MSG I gotta say it does make a difference (in my experience). However, given the nature of the product (it's bad rap, mostly), I don't cook with it professionally.

...also, this thread is, for some reason, making my mouth water.
 

MadMel

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I use it a lot while working in the chinese kitchen. At home I usually substitute good quality light soy sauce, fish sauce(nam pla) or parmesan cheese for MSG. Not opposed to it though and I usually keep a small container of it at home. The thai dishes will benefit from some fish sauce, light soy and tamarind paste as substitutes if you'r not a fan of msg :)
 

MikeZ

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I just like what MSG adds to some dish's in terms of flavor and umami, I had no idea it was also a neurostimulant and am very interested in learning more about that. I do not belive there are any neagtive reasons for using MSG personaly I have no reaction to it and do not use it everyday or in everydish.
 

mr drinky

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I was just looking through a Food & Wine and saw a burger recipe where they talk about using 'umami dust' on the burger. I'd never heard of umami dust before, but it is apparently going to be marketed by Umami Burger in the near future. The recipe for it is:

* Use a spice grinder to pulse 3 tablespoons bonito flakes, 1/2 ounce crumbled dried kombu, and 1/2 ounce dried shitake mushrooms into a powder.

It is sort of like a powdered dashi seasoning, but I find it interesting that MSG has been rebranding itself as "umami seasoning" after MSG's fall from glory. Maybe we will start to see a variety of new-and-improved umami seasonings like the burger 'dust'.

Here is the recipe from F&W:

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/umami-burgers-with-port-and-stilton

k.
 

tk59

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Glutamic acid is everywhere just like sugar, salt, etc. The problems happen when we purify them and subsequently OD on them. A touch of MSG is like putting a little soy sauce on something. A lot of MSG will cause some sort of physical response. Whether you notice it and whether you think it's uncomfortable is something else.
 

Tristan

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In a local context (Singapore - tons of asian cooking, especially chinese and hawker fare), it is overused. Loaded up and abused almost everywhere.

Strangely, the common response from non-allergic people is a strange kind of thirst that settles in shortly after the meal that hits the back of the throat. That gets attributed to the msg content of the food, and well, from a personal level I feel more or less the same way. It doesn't go away with a quick drink after the meal.

You don't get it eating chinese at the homes of friends as typically home cooks here avoid the stuff.

I have no hangups, but I try to avoid it. I like subtle flavours that you work harder for, not instant fixes.
 

MadMel

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In a local context (Singapore - tons of asian cooking, especially chinese and hawker fare), it is overused. Loaded up and abused almost everywhere.

Strangely, the common response from non-allergic people is a strange kind of thirst that settles in shortly after the meal that hits the back of the throat. That gets attributed to the msg content of the food, and well, from a personal level I feel more or less the same way. It doesn't go away with a quick drink after the meal.

You don't get it eating chinese at the homes of friends as typically home cooks here avoid the stuff.

I have no hangups, but I try to avoid it. I like subtle flavours that you work harder for, not instant fixes.
I agree with the thirst going on. And yes it gets abused heavily. At home, it can easily be substituted out for something else like fish sauce, soy sauce and the like.
 

echerub

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I avoid it. I understand intellectually that it's harmless, but I was raised always being told MSG is to be avoided and that it's a shortcut only cheap places use (and abuse).

If I want to up the umami in my food when I cook, I'll add in natural ingredients that have it - or at least as natural or as traditional as I can get. If I'm buying packaged food items, I look on the label for MSG or hydrolyzed proteins of any kind. I would literally lose respect from friends and family if I deliberately used MSG or something loaded with it.

I accept that this is both a cultural thing and a personal preference. I see packs of pure MSG crystals at local markets, so I know it's being used pretty widely.
 

rockbox

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I don't, but I am absolutely not against MSG. msg got a really bad rap, which was unfounded.

Tell that to my brain when it goes numb after eating large amounts of it or to my wife after she gets a migraine from it. I've seen and experienced enough anecdotal evidence of its effect to conclude that the studies about it were skewed or poorly constructed.
 

echerub

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My mom and a good friend are both what I call "MSG guinea pigs". Maybe canaries would have been a better analogy :) One gets serious headaches from MSG, the other feels a little queasy. Both feel the effects pretty quickly. I just get the typical post-MSG thirstiness.
 

Cnimativ

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Why add msg when most soy, hoisien, oyster, fish, etc sauce already have a small amount?

I dont like the taste or the after taste of msg. Thus i avoid all those chicken soup powders and Hondashi.
 
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