Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MSG

Many people have questions and concerns about monosodium glutamate, more commonly known as MSG, a flavor-enhancer used in Chinese cooking.

Heavily sauced dishes with lots of flavor from soy sauce or ketchup require less of it, if any at all.  Other dishes that are more bland and less colored, like Chicken and Broccoli, require more MSG.  Beef and Broccoli does not require much because soy sauce is added for flavor whereas Chicken and Broccoli has a chicken broth base and is only seasoned with salt.

Baby Sauteed Shrimp may seem like a candidate for MSG because the sauce is clear, but very little is used in the dish's preparation.  Adding too much MSG would destroy the plump nature of the shrimp, and the natural flavor by itself is part of the appeal.

As always, anything at Yang Chow can be made to your taste, including dishes without any MSG whatsoever.

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