One of the most important skills an Asian chef can learn is how to prepare a delicious soup broth.
There are so many memories and good feelings that can be tied back to a good soup stock. Many of us will remember being fed hot soup by grandma when we were kids, especially when we were trying to recover from an illness and had to take warm, nutritious soups as substitutes for complete meals. Even when we lost our appetite, a good soup always warmed our tummy, and our heart. This is the essence of an excellent stock.
A good stock is full of flavour and nutrition, and can be used as the base of many soups, sauces and other recipes. As a chef, you already know how to make a good stock. The question is, how can you make it better?
Give these 5 ingredients a try and see the difference they can make in your stocks and broths.
Chicken and pork bones are often used in preparing stocks as they’re easy to find. If you’re cooking up meat, you’ll definitely also have bones – use them to flavour your stock instead of throwing them away.
2. Vegetable scraps
If you’ve been throwing away scraps from tomatoes, onion peels, and the tops (or bottoms) of certain vegetables, stop. Keep these scraps and toss them into the next batch of soup stock you’re cooking up. Just be sure to avoid brassicas, as they’ll add a bitter taste to your stocks.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Despite how this tastes on its own, apple cider vinegar is a fantastic ingredient to add to your stocks. Some chefs even swear by it when cooking up bone broths! This ingredient is packed with nutritional benefits that health-conscious diners will certainly appreciate.
4. Something spicy
Alright, this isn’t technically an ingredient, it’s a category of ingredients. Try adding a little spice to your stocks with chillies, coriander, cumin or maybe even some curry powder. This is also a great way of adding an exciting twist to a familiar recipe.
Herbs are fantastic additions to stocks because they can subtly alter the taste of a broth – enough to be noticed, but not overpoweringly so. This makes them the perfect complement for stocks that are already full-flavoured, and just need a hint of something extra to complete their taste or smell.
Some herbs you can try mixing into your stocks are turmeric, nettle root, parsley or thyme.
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