The conviction to make my own stocks for cooking was borne out of my desire to have healthy yet tasty meals for my young family. Animal husbandry involves the use of too much chemicals and drugs. We also worry about the mercury levels in the sea with regard to seafood. In many situations, even more chemicals are added to ensure better preservation before the food actually reaches the supermarket shelves. It takes just a bit planning to make flavourful stocks. Use bouillon cubes only when absolutely necessary.
Which child doesn’t like instant noodles and eating at the hawkers? My kids adored going for sleep-overs at my friend’s home not only for the company but also for instant noodles were served with that packet of essence which was taboo at home.
We market once a week. Each week one or 2 of the following stocks will be made, filled into plastic bags and frozen for future use. A pressure cooker is a great help in reducing simmering time. Use the pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s manual. Many people tend to have reservations about using a pressure cooker as they are so afraid that it will explode when they are trying to open the cover. I have been enjoying the benefits of one for decades and all my past and present helpers have been taught to use it successfully. In recent years electric pressure cooker may be found in the market place as well.
Besides the pressure cooker, I have started using thermal pots. Mine is the Thermos Shuttle chef. Such a practical gadget to make home-made stocks, stews and braised meats. It saves energy and time. There are several other brands such as “Tiger”, “Zojirushi”, “La Gourmet”. The image below explains the theory behind this gadget.
Here is a list of a variety of flavourful and robust stocks that you can enjoy too! Each type will be posted separately as soon as I am able to do so.
- Vegetable (Click here)
- Chicken (Click here)
- Pork (Click here)
- Prawn (Click here)
- Soya Bean + Ikan Billis
- Ham (Click here)
The photo below displays basic aromatics for most types of home-made stocks. They are readily available and easily purchased. Other ingredients are added to the basic ones depending on what type of stock you are making, for example chicken,beef or pork. To add a new layer of flavour, additional ingredients are included depending on whether the stock forms the base of an Asian dish or a Western dish.
If you have a craving for home-made soup, please don’t resort to using stock cubes. Even if you only have these basic aromatics and a meat or fish without all the other add-ons, go ahead and make your stock. Your efforts will reward you with a flavourful and definitely healthier soup.
These stocks are nutritious and tasty but they are different than Homemade Chicken Essence or Homemade Pork and Liver Essence. Such essences are served to mothers-to-be during post-natal periods, to those who are convalescing and the aged. Click here for Homemade Chicken Essence.