In defence of MSG: The seasoning that revolutionised Thai cuisine

Available in : Vietnamese

 

January 26. 2021

 

 

 

 

Written by WANPEN PAJAI

 

 

Monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG, has a rough reputation in the culinary world for its perceived bad health effects. But this naturally occurring ingredient has simplified and revolutionized the preparation of Thai cuisine, helping to bring good food to the masses.

 

 

 

Issan dish ‘larb’ served in Bangkok, flavoured with MSG. Photo: Wanpen Pajai

 

Sitting on the corner of a Bangkok street, I spoon in another bite of the Som Tam papaya salad – the crunchiness of green, unripened fruit, the sourness of the lime, the spiciness of the crushed chili, and saltiness of the fermented fish sauce hit all at once in perfect balance.

For Thais, this would be known as glom glorm taste, a phrase describing when flavors go together well. Or nua, specific to Northeastern Thai cuisine, to describe a smoothness in the seasoning. Whatever the label, it’s representative of the intense heat and sweetness that Thai cuisine has become synonymous with as it has spread around the globe… Continuous ready on Southeast Asian Globe

 

 

 

 

Available in : Vietnamese

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