MSG Substitutes

MSG Substitutes

This article provides an overview of MSG, what it tastes like, its availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make MSG substitutes.

What is MSG?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid and is found naturally in some foods, such as tomatoes and cheese. MSG is also used as an additive in cooking to enhance flavors with an umami taste.

MSG was first created by a Japanese biochemist in 1908, who was trying to copy the savory taste of edible seaweed. MSG is now commonly added to stock cubes, soups, ramen, gravy, stews, and condiments.

What does MSG taste like?

MSG should not be eaten alone and is purely used to enhance the flavor of foods. In most recipes and foods, MSG intensifies the meaty, umami, and savory flavor, just like glutamate does naturally in foods such as stews and soups.

Is MSG readily available in Supermarkets?

MSG is readily available in Asian countries and usually in Asian supermarkets in other countries, however, you may struggle to find it in regular supermarkets.

If it is available in regular supermarkets, it will be found in the spices aisle or world foods section.

What are some alternative names for MSG?

MSG may be referred to by its full name, monosodium glutamate, or just sodium glutamate.

What is a good substitute for MSG in recipes?

Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for MSG. These include:

  • When you need to replace MSG in your recipes, you can opt for other plavor packed ingredients such as
  • You can also simply leave MSG out of the recipe as it is a flavor enhancer, rather than a key ingredient!