Unexpected umami recipes on TikTok that use MSG

MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, is a common food additive used to enhance flavor. Despite the rumors, MSG is not only safe to consume, but it’s also found naturally in things we already eat, including mushrooms and seaweed. While MSG may be synonymous with umami flavors, corresponding to traditionally savory dishes, the storied seasoning has been showing up in some pretty surprising recipes on TikTok. From cinnamon rolls to French fries covered in chocolate sauce, here are five unique umami recipes that feature the magic of MSG. 

1. MSG umami cinnamon rolls


MSG is a staple ingredient in my pantry & I know it’s not common to put it in sweets, but trust me.. it works! We’re all familiar with the salty sweet combo in desserts but the combo of umami sweet really hits different 😮‍💨 #KnowMSG #AjiPartner

♬ original sound – twaydabae

You’ve never had cinnamon rolls like these before. Start by combining milk and instant yeast. Next, sift flour into an electric mixer. Then add eggs, followed by melted butter and the milk-instant yeast combo. Mix until the ingredients form a dough. After kneading the dough, let it rest for one hour. Flatten the dough and cover it in brown butter mixed with MSG, followed by brown sugar and cinnamon. Tightly roll the dough. Then cut it into cinnamon roll-sized slices, and set them aside to rise for about 20 minutes. Finally, pop the cinnamon rolls in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit before slathering them in frosting made from a mix of cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, milk, MSG, orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice. 

2. Vegan and gluten-free MSG umami yuba bacon

Harness the power of MSG to turn yuba (bean curd) into bacon. First, slice yuba into bacon-sized strips. Next, drench the yuba strips in a marinade made from tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke, garlic powder, smoked paprika and MSG. Finally, bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until golden brown, and enjoy!

3. MSG umami onion rings

A pinch of MSG makes onion rings taste even more “a-peel-ing.” Start by chopping an onion into thick slices. Then separate them into rings and remove the skin. Next, combine tempura flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and MSG with carbonated water in a mixing bowl. Then coat the onion rings in the batter before deep-frying them. Once cool, season the onion rings with salt and crushed Espelette pepper flakes before serving.  

4. MSG umami mango salad

Enjoy the taste of fresh mangoes combined with savory and spicy mixed vegetables. To make the mango salad, start by peeling and dicing a mango. Next, top the mango with chopped Thai chili peppers, diced tomatoes and lime juice. Then sprinkle on some MSG, followed by sugar and fish sauce. Finally, mix well before serving. 

5. MSG umami French fries with chocolate sauce

This unusual recipe features a motley crew of ingredients that harmonize incredibly well together. Start by chopping potatoes into long, quarter-inch thick slices. Next, drizzle on some oil. Then toss the potatoes in the air fryer at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until crispy and golden. Let the French fries cool and transfer them to a bowl. Finally, drizzle on a generous amount of chocolate sauce followed by a pinch of MSG, and enjoy!

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