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Is MSG used alot in Singapore cooking?

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Is MSG used alot in Singapore cooking?

Postby James-83 » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:20 am

Over here in Thailand the FDA dont seem to really mind what you put in the food including msg, I was wondering if Singapore are a bit more strict on it?

I guess alot is used due to the Chinese population but is it found in the Indian/Malay food alot aswell?

I swear its the reason why you can get so dopey here.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:28 am

Yes, it's used a lot.

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:46 am

My mom has a jar of MSG seasoning in her kitchen but I don't. That's part of the secret of her good cooking that all my relatives rave about :P . One should just use a tiny sprinkle of it. A little goes a long way when it comes to MSG.

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Re: Is MSG used alot in Singapore cooking?

Postby wannamove » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:55 am

James-83 wrote:I guess alot is used due to the Chinese population but is it found in the Indian/Malay food alot aswell?


With regards to Indian cooking - MSG is generally not used. Unless it is Indo-Chinese food like fried rice

Not sure how it is in restaurants but I am talking about basic Indian cooking

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:32 am

We rarely eat in hawker stalls because my wife has a reaction to MSG so almost everything you buy has some in something (it allows them to buy cheaper ingredients and still taste somewhat edible). How you think they sell so cheap?

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Postby Barnsley » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:00 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:We rarely eat in hawker stalls because my wife has a reaction to MSG so almost everything you buy has some in something (it allows them to buy cheaper ingredients and still taste somewhat edible). How you think they sell so cheap?


One of the ladies on our Dragon Boat team has a reaction almost instantly if there is any MSG in the food, the couple of times I have seen it , it hasn't been at Hawker Stalls either.
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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:02 pm

MSG can be found in many savory Asian packaged snacks e.g. shrimp chip, dried cuttlefish, seasoned nuts ....

I also came across its use in western snack items too but can't recall where. Canned chicken stock and canned soup usually use them too. Many Asians like myself grew up on it and I haven't really heard the population being too affected by it. Do you build a tolerance over time?

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Postby beppi » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 4:54 pm

There is no Asian food without MSG! (with the possible exception of South Indian vegetarian)
It is a traditional ingredient and naturally occurs in soy sauce, fish sauce and similarly fermented condiments.
It is also present in almost all available pre-prepared dishes and snacks, whether Asian or Western (this includes frozen pizza and all hamburgers and fries).
Thankfully, it isn't very harmful (if at all, the scientific community cannot agree yet) for people without allergic reactions to it.
In Asia it pays to go with the flow and not against it. A billion Chinese cannot be wrong (they eat lots of it and their food is admired worldwide).

Edit: MSG also naturally occurs in seaweed, so most macrobiotic and vegan food has it as well! (Ajinomoto is made from seaweed.)
Last edited by beppi on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 5:57 pm

Yes SG food is loaded with MSG.

My wife and I both know when we've had a meal with too much in. It sort of leaves your palette beaten into submission. The food often lacks a depth of flavour and comes over in a blunt one dimensional kind of way.

It is little used in western food, as it's flavours tend to come from stocks where the flavours might be built up over days. Whereas in some Asian cuisines one dimensional flavours are flash cooked, and to make them more palatable and add a breadth of flavour MSG is used.

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Postby Brah » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 7:37 pm

I'm glad someone asked this as I had been meaning to. I see something get sprinkled onto food in nondescript dispensers and suspect it.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 7:52 pm

Brah wrote:I'm glad someone asked this as I had been meaning to. I see something get sprinkled onto food in nondescript dispensers and suspect it.


Not sure about 'sprinkled on'... maybe others know?

If you watch a dish being cooked, the chef will often add one or two .5-1.0 teaspoons of white crystal powder into the pan. In the flash of the eye. One is sugar, the other MSG...

Pre-made sauces like oyster sauce are almost all loaded with MSG too...

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Postby sensei_ » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:15 pm

while i have yet to see someone with adverse msg reaction, i still believe moderation is the key.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:22 pm

sensei_ wrote:while i have yet to see someone with adverse msg reaction, i still believe moderation is the key.


I know someone who gets palpitations so adverse reactions to MSG is real.

But it could be something like how some people are allergic to peanuts or even chicken.

Anyway, what most people are concerned about is the amount of sodium present in most foods not prepared by themselves...which is a lot.

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Postby sensei_ » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:32 pm

nakatago wrote:I know someone who gets palpitations so adverse reactions to MSG is real.

But it could be something like how some people are allergic to peanuts or even chicken.

Anyway, what most people are concerned about is the amount of sodium present in most foods not prepared by themselves...which is a lot.


I have no doubt people do get allergic to certain things. Personally, i'm allergic to peanuts, citrus fruits, and even EES suspension (antibiotic).

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Oct 2011 12:03 am

I'm allergic to nice looking women and pretty girls! Every time I get near one I start swelling! :o :cool:


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