Looking for an MSG substitute? You’re not alone.
Many people are looking for alternatives to this common food additive due to its potential side effects. While there are no perfect substitutes for MSG, there are several options that may be suitable for you.
This article will explore some of the most popular MSG substitutes
Table of Contents
**Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Some of our links are affiliate links
Why would we need to replace monosodium glutamate (MSG)?
Monosodium glutamate is a processed chemical that is used in many foods. It is commonly found in Chinese food, canned foods, and packaged meals.
The problem with MSG is that it’s considered an excitotoxin. This means that it can cause nerve damage when consumed in large amounts over a long period of time.
The health risks of MSG consumption include migraines, headaches, and even brain damage.
The good news is that there are many natural substitutes for MSG that can be used to add flavor to your food without any harmful side effects!
Herbs and spices that can be used as MSG substitutes
If you’re looking for a way to add flavor to your food without using MSG, there are several herbs and spices that can be used as substitutes. Some common MSG substitutes include garlic, onion, black pepper, and chili pepper.
These ingredients can be used individually or in combination to give your food the flavor you’re looking for.
- Garlic is a common ingredient in many dishes because of its ability to enhance the flavor of food. It’s also a great substitute for MSG because it contains amino acids that mimic the effects of MSG when eaten in large quantities. Garlic can be added to almost any dish, but especially those that are bland or need more seasoning.
- Onion is another common ingredient that can be used as a substitute for MSG. Onions contain a lot of glutamates, which is the chemical that gives them their flavor. When added to food and cooked, this amino acid breaks down into smaller pieces that your body absorbs easier than larger ones.
- Black Pepper is a common spice that can be used to add flavor to food. It’s also known for its ability to enhance the flavor of other spices and ingredients when added in small amounts. Black pepper contains piperine, which is a chemical compound that gives this spice its spicy taste. When added is another ingredient that can be used as a substitute for MSG. It has a spicy flavor that is similar to that of MSG, and it contains several compounds that are known to cause some of the same effects as MSG.
- Chilli pepper is a common ingredient in many types of food. It has a spicy flavor that can be used to add zest to many dishes. This spice contains several different compounds, including capsaicin, which is responsible for the heat sensation you get after eating it. Chilli peppers contain plenty of vitamin C and also provide some potassium and iron.
Natural Healthy MSG alternatives that can be found in your kitchen
While MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a common food additive, it can be problematic for some people. If you’re looking for a natural healthy MSG substitute, there are a few options that you can try.
- Salt: Salt is the most common MSG substitute. It can be used to enhance the flavor of many dishes without adding any additional chemical compounds.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is another common MSG substitute. It adds a savory umami flavor to dishes.
- Miso: Miso is a fermented soybean paste that can be used as an MSG substitute. It adds a savory, umami flavor to dishes.
- Seaweed: Seaweed is another umami-rich ingredient that can be used as an MSG substitute. It’s often used in sushi and other Japanese dishes.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in the amino acid glutamic acid, which is the main component of MSG. They can be used to enhance the flavor of many dishes.
- Fermented foods: Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles are rich in natural glutamates and can be used as MSG substitutes.
Homemade MSG substitutes that are easy to make
1. Chicken stock: This is a great substitute for MSG because it contains all the same flavors without the added sodium. Simply simmer chicken bones in water for several hours, then strain and use the stock in place of MSG.
2. Dried mushrooms: Dried mushrooms are another excellent MSG substitute. Simply rehydrate them in water, then chop and add to recipes as desired.
3. Fish sauce: Fish sauce is another good MSG replacement. It has a strong umami flavor that can help enhance the taste of soups, sauces, and other dishes.
4. Soy sauce: Soy sauce is another common MSG substitute. It has a similar salty flavor and can be used in many of the same ways. It is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and water, which gives it a salty, umami flavor.
5. Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce is another common MSG replacement. It contains many of the same flavors as MSG, including saltiness, sweetness, and umami.
6. Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is another ingredient that can be used as an MSG substitute. It is made by fermenting fish with salt and water, which gives it a strong, fishy flavor.
7. Anchovy Paste: Anchovy paste is made from finely ground anchovies and can be used as an MSG substitute. It has a strong, salty flavor that can add depth to dishes.
8. Oyster Sauce: The oyster sauce is made from oysters that have been simmered in water and salt. It has a briny, umami flavor that can enhance the flavor of many dishes.
Commercial MSG substitutes that are available in stores
There are a number of commercial MSG substitutes that are available in stores. Some of these substitutes include:
- Marmite: Marmite is a salty, umami-flavored paste that’s made from yeast extract. It’s often used as a meat flavoring and is similar to MSG in its ability to enhance savory flavors.
- Vegemite: Vegemite is a similar paste made from yeast extract that’s often used as a meat flavoring. It has a slightly different flavor than marmite, but both are good substitutes for MSG.
- Chicken soup powder: Chicken soup powder is a blend of herbs and spices that’s used to flavor chicken broth. It has a slightly salty, savory taste that can be used as a substitute for MSG.
- Celery salt: Celery salt is made from dried celery, which gives it a slightly salty flavor. It’s often used as a seasoning for soups and stews, but can also be used to flavor meats or other savory dishes.
- Seaweed flakes: Seaweed flakes are made from dried seaweed, which has a salty, savory taste. It can be used as a substitute for MSG in soups and stews, but should only be added sparingly.
The benefits of using MSG substitutes
There are several benefits of using MSG substitutes.
- First, they allow people with food allergies to enjoy the same foods as their friends and family members.
- Second, they can be used by people who want to reduce their sodium intake without sacrificing flavor.
- Finally, many MSG substitutes are low in calories or fat-which makes them a good choice for those trying to lose weight.
The drawbacks of using MSG substitutes
The drawbacks of using MSG substitutes are few.
- First, they may not be as effective as MSG in enhancing flavor.
- Second, they tend to have a shorter shelf life than MSG.
- Finally, they may be more expensive than MSG.
The best ways to use MSG substitutes
There are many substitutes for MSG that can be used to add flavor to your food. Here are some of the best ways to use MSG substitutes:
Umami flavor without MSG
There are a few ways to get the umami flavor without msg. One way is to use an umami-rich ingredient such as mushrooms, seaweed, or tomatoes. Another way is to use a food that is high in glutamic acids such as Parmesan cheese or soy sauce.
Savory flavor without msg
Some possible ways to get the savory flavor without MSG include using other seasonings and spices that have a similar savory taste, such as garlic, onion, black pepper, or cumin. Additionally, using broth or stock in place of water when cooking can also help to enhance the savory flavor of dishes.
Sweetness without msg
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this, as the amount of sweetness desired will vary from person to person. However, some tips on how to add sweetness without MSG include using natural sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar or adding fruit to your dish for sweetness. You could also try using spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg to add a touch of sweetness without MSG.
Saltiness without msg
There is no right answer to this, as some people like their food is less salty than others. However, some ways to add saltiness to a dish without using MSG include using salty ingredients such as soy sauce, fish sauce, or anchovies; adding salty flavorings such as Parmesan cheese or sea salt; or cooking with salty foods such as ham, bacon, or olives.
While MSG substitutes are available for those who wish to avoid the ingredient, it is important to remember that these substitutes may not have the same flavor profile as MSG. This is why it is important to read labels carefully and to ask questions about ingredients when dining out. Ultimately, the decision to consume MSG or not is a personal one.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.