Recipe terminology can be very confusing, particularly if there are several terms for basically the same ingredient. When making soups, stews, sauces, stir fries, casseroles, etc. the recipe often says to add chicken, fish, beef, or vegetable stock or broth.
Broth is the strained liquid left from cooking vegetables, meat, or fish in water. It is often used as a synonym for bullion.
Stock is basically the same thing but cooked more slowly and has a more intense flavor than broth.
Bouillon cubes or granules are compressed stock that needs to be dissolved before using.
In the olden days, you always had to make your own stock. It is not difficult but it can be time consuming. Food Wishes has an excellent recipe video for making Home Made Chicken Stock. Today, most people buy it in the grocery store.
Store bought stock/broth and bouillon cubes can be VERY salty. Many people cook rice with stock instead of water. You may want to cut back on the salt in your recipe if you are substituting the water for stock.
Reviewers often say the best broth/stock on the market is the Swanson brand name, which comes in liquid form. (The only drawback is that it is heavy to carry home from the grocery store! I have not owned a car for over 20 years!)
A bouillon cube is dehydrated stock formed into a small cube or dried granules. When you want to use one, you just add boiling water.
There are a range of different flavors available. I find the most useful ones are chicken, vegetable, beef and fish. You can get others including lamb, shrimp, duck and tomato.
Do experiment with the different brands of bouillon cubes available in your local stores. There is a real difference in taste and it is well worth finding one you like.
Even before you start adding the stock to your cooking, you might find it handy to make yourself a cup of quick soup by just dissolving a stock cube in hot water.
My cupboard is always stocked with a variety of these cubes!
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i am no chef, and i don’t pretend to be, so when i see something requires a bouillon cube i know where to find it in the family pantry but I’m always thinking what the heck is this!
thanks for the great post!!
hope you’re doing well.