MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) And Umami – What Cooking Moms Need To Know

Posted on Dec 1 2015 - 1:38pm by tweenselmom

For a simple cook like me, simple means that I can only cook dishes with 5-7 ingredients max, knowing how to prepare flavorful AND healthy dishes at the same time, is a crucial need. I am the master of my kitchen and my husband and my kids are my greatest fans so I always want to make sure that when I cook, they will always love to eat what I’ve prepared. I can only do that when my dishes are “malasa” (flavorful).

Pinoy Nilagang Baka

Nilagang Baka – one of the most favorite Pinoy ulam which I also love to cook at home. Umami brings out the flavor of the beef making the soup very tasty. Photo from Umami World Recipe Vol. 4 Filipino

But “malasa” for my husband and my kids almost usually equates to being “salty” or maalat. I don’t know but they seem to love salty food. And I know how unhealthy that can be. I am not so fond of salty food and though I dig salty chips, when it comes to dishes, I can live with steamed and blanched veggies for a long time. Because of that, I tend to add more “patis” or fish sauce on my dishes. And when guilt strikes me, I just cook the way I want it from my conscience, and then serve patis in a saucer at the table. Then while we eat, I tell them non-stop that too much salt is bad.

But when I come to think of it, when I watch cooking shows, I really wonder how they make their dishes look so delicious when all they do is they just put in all those ingredients and mix them. That is so unrealistic. On my kitchen, I think I have to taste my dishes at least five times before I am done and be contented. The secret is really on the flavor. If you want to escape the need of dumping too much salt or patis, you have to add flavor either through adding more key ingredients in sauteeing (onions, garlic, tomatoes) or you put a considerable amount of seasoning or MSG.

Yes, MSG or monosodium glutamate. It is an uncomfortable admission on my part because my lola who taught me to cook always told me na “masama ang vetsin” as I recall. BUT actually, I saw that she did use vetsin or AJI-NO-MOTO when she cooked and I can recall how I use to buy sachets for her.  You see that irony and the confusion ?

I got a copy of this pamphlet from Aji-Panda Best Day Ever press conference and the source came from I scanned the pamphlet for you to read and be informed of What You Need To Know About MSG. From here, you will know how the fear of MSG came to be and what food specialists say about it.

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I’ve also shared the Q&A portion of UMAMI here from where you will appreciate to know that aside from the usual 4 kinds of tastes we know (sweet, sour, salty, bitter), there’s the 5th kind of taste that will represent that flavor we usually seek for in our food. That is UMAMI. Isn’t it cool to think that we’ve always thought that we like to eat “maalat na pagkain” but all the while, we are asking for ma-umami na pagkain, right?


To cut it short, AJI-NO-MOTO Umami seasoning is one of my allies in making my dishes flavorful. I am comfortable to share that the glutamate in it, as explained on the pamphlets, naturally occurs in the ingredients that I also use in my dishes (like tomatoes and cheeses). The seasoning enhances the tastes of my ingredients so instead of adding more salt, a pinch or two of AJI-NO-MOTO Umami seasoning will already complete my cooking.  I’m always an advocate of eating meals at home rather than restaurants because at home, I am sure of what we are eating. I am happy that this hadn’t been a problem for me because I know my way to my kitchen and I have “helpers” such as AjiPanda.

AjiPanda Best Friend In the Kitchen

AjiPanda Best Friend In the Kitchen – the humble character which represents Ajinomoto’s humble but reliable help to moms when it comes to cooking savory and tasty food.

Speaking of AJI-NO-MOTO Umami seasoning, AJINOMOTO’s celebrity endorser is the teen queen Kathryn Bernardo. I’ve seen her personally at the AjiPanda Best Day Ever Presscon and she was so sweet. I remember Sharon Cuneta on her younger days.  I saw Kathryn as very endearing to her mom who was also there at the event. I am sure this girl will survive showbiz for a long period of time because she loves her mom. Although I know personally that not all moms were born good-hearted, most moms will do what’s best for their children. I am glad AJINOMOTO got Kathryn because she will be a good example for my daughters.

Kathryn was kind enough to give a short message for my kids. Thank you Kathryn and all the best to you, your career and your family. Thank you also to AJINOMOTO for bringing a good product to my kitchen while taking the time to give information about your food which can really enlighten us moms.

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