Community: Forum: Recipes & Cooking

Vegan Cooking Tips and Recipes Forum

Karma Waters, Hoi An, Vietnam has free online cooking classes by video see

Responses (9)

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    Posted by kindlizard at 02/11/09 10:31:41

    is "vegetarian flavor" MSG?

    Also, never heard of vegetarian fish sauce before... sounds fishy. Love these homespun cooking classes though. It looks great the noodles, but just find those two ingredients unfamiliar. Anyone know about those two?

    The link didn't work for me so here's the one that worked for me.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 02/11/09 14:45:12

    I haven't seen vegetarian fish sauce either, but I did some searching online and it appears you can fairly readily get it at Vietnamese markets. It appears to be a soybean/chili/sugar type concoction.

    Also, not sure about the reference here (videos not working for me on this computer), but vegetarian flavor sometimes refers to the vegetarian version of stocks/pastes/powders that are made to mimic chicken/beef/pork, etc. I've seen stuff like that at Whole Foods before.

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    Posted by kindlizard at 02/11/09 16:55:03

    the "veg flavor" was a white crystal. isn't MSG also white crystals?

    Thanks for clearing up the veg fish sauce; I thought that was one of those odd claims that actually still have fish, or like a few places I have been to insisted oyster sauce was veg (not "veg" oyster sauce mind you, but actual oyster sauce, not to mention the tons of MSG oyster sauce usually has).

    Thanks Tatiana

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    Posted by JohnnySensible at 02/11/09 20:34:44

    Nice site - this url is working well -

    I look forward to visiting when I am next in Viet Nam!

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    Posted by webmaster at 02/12/09 10:24:00

    It seems to me that these people are making an effort to avoid MSG. While it's difficult to be completely free of the those magic crystals if using anything pre-packaged, it appears these guys are making an honest attempt at it, and it's unfair to prejudge them. I watched the vdo and the pile of veg flavor is not MSG (not straight MSG at least), since MSG looks nothing at all like that.
    In Taiwan, and in other parts of Asia there has been a big health/organic movement recently, and fewer and fewer companies are using MSG in their ingredients. Hopefully the day will soon come when MSG is a rarity in Asian cuisine.

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    Posted by kindlizard at 02/12/09 12:22:28

    Prejudge them? I watched the video (enjoyed it actually), they used something I never heard of that looked what I thought looked like MSG, so I asked a question if it was it. That is not a PRE-judge, that is asking a follow-up. What from your experience does MSG look like?

    It looked like she had a pile of white powder/ crystals. This is what MSG looks like from a manufacturer; well the link is huge, but google image it and it is a white powder/crystal as well as far as I can tell.

    Though perhaps they were using a broth veg powder? Thats what I think Tatiana was suggesting and I think that makes the most sense.

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    Posted by Tatiana at 02/12/09 12:42:37

    Yeah there are a lot of powdered veggie flavors out there, maybe something like this?

    I still haven't watched the videos, lol....

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    Posted by webmaster at 02/12/09 18:30:29

    KL, for the sake of your understanding, I've pasted the image from the vdo & of actual msg below.
    I am no expert, but notice how the stuff in the vdo is (1) not shiny, (2) sort of clumpy, (3) not very white, more of a brown actually.
    You have always been very outspoken on the msg issue and it does feel on this thread that you were jumping to judging these guys, suggesting they might be using msg when their whole gig is built around healthy food "Without MSG":

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    Posted by JohnnySensible at 02/13/09 05:44:32

    Karma Waters page on HappyCow -

    Pretty clear!
    By "simpsonyellow" -

    Review: This entirely vegan place boasts a fantastic scenic location on the river near Cua Dai beach. The generous portions of food are delicious, and the owners have gone to considerable effort to develop a very health conscious menu. They avoid MSG like the plague and aren't heavy handed with the flavours, so you can actually taste the veggies in your meal. Definitely something different to standard vegetarian Vietnamese fare and well worth repeat visits. Prices were fairly high compared with other veg establishments throughout Vietnam, but the portion sizes are good.

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