Substitutes For MSG [Monosodium Glutamate] – 6 Best Options
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Table of Contents
What is MSG
MSG is a flavor enhancer that comes in the form of a crystal powder. Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a controversial ingredient that can be found in a variety of processed foods.
Some chefs use it to enhance the flavor of restaurant menu items, and it can also be used in home cooking.
Substitutes For MSG
Despite the fact that MSG is FDA approved, many people prefer to avoid it for a variety of health reasons; others may have difficulties finding it in their local supermarket.
You’ll need an MSG substitute, to enhance the flavor of your dishes.
Alternatives to Seasoning Cubes
The following is a list of all-natural spices and seasonings, the majority of which are common kitchen staples.
They are MSG-free, chemical-free, and can be used separately or in combination, depending on the type of foods you prepare.
In addition, some of them are appropriate for those who have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Let’s get started.
6 excellent monosodium glutamate alternatives
- Beef broth – Substitutes for Monosodium Glutamate
Make your own beef stock, or broth, by gently boiling beef bones and aromatics in a stockpot to produce the greatest flavor.
Homemade stock is a wonderful way to boost the umami content of dishes. In fact, the meaty flavor has a strong resemblance to MSG.
This is due to the fact that they both have high quantities of glutamate, an amino acid found in animal protein.
The more the stock is reduced, the more glutamate-laden, umami deliciousness it contains.
You don’t have time to make your own stock? For a quick and easy option, beef stock cubes, often known as bouillon cubes, can be added to water.
Don’t forget to check the label of the product because it may include MSG, which defeats the purpose.
Vegetable bouillon can be used as a substitute at a pinch. It also has the perfect combination of components to imitate the effects of MSG in the kitchen.
- Soy Sauce – Substitutes For MSG
MSG can easily be replaced with soy sauce. It’s an umami-rich sauce that goes well with stir-fries, casseroles, and soups.
Soy sauce adds a salty, savory flavor to meals and is widely available in supermarkets.
Always check the ingredients list to ensure there is no MSG added, just like with stock cubes.
Oyster sauce or fish sauce are two other flavorful sauces to consider. Use them sparingly because they can easily oversalt a meal.
- Okpei/Ogiri/Dawadawa – Substitutes For MSG
This pungent ball of flavor is from eastern Nigeria and is produced from fermented oil bean seeds.
The origins of okpei and ogiri are the same, however, ogiri is prepared into a paste, whilst okpei is dried into balls.
Dawadawa, a northern variant, is also present.
- Iru – MSG Substitutes
IRU is more popular in Nigeria’s Yoruba and Edo regions, and it has a somewhat different flavor than ogiri. In cuisine, it has a distinct’seedy’ look
- Ground Crayfish – MSG Substitutes
Crayfish has a complex flavor character, which is why it’s commonly used to thicken soups and other Nigerian foods. To substitute MSG-based seasoning, add this to your cooking arsenal.
- Spices – Monosodium Glutamate Substitutes
We adore our spices, and with good reason: they lend the zest that makes Nigerian cuisine so delicious!
The best part is that you can manufacture and keep your own spice blend, but if you’re stuck for ideas, try a seasoning blend of paprika, bay leaves, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic, thyme, and nutmeg for meat, stews, and rice.
The Bottom Line on Substitutes For MSG
This is not an exhaustive list; depending on where you reside, there are many more options.
Have you tried any seasoning cube replacements in your own cooking? What was your experience on the journey?