Home-made Stock (frozen) Cubes

It's unbelievably simple to make your own stock. You can make chicken, beef, fish or vegetable stock quite easily and freeze until needed. The advantage is that you know exactly what the stock contains and you can also control the amount of salt you add. More importantly, you can avoid the use of MSG (mono sodium glutamate) completely if you or a member of your family has an intolerance for it.

No doubt, using stock in your cooking definitely enhances the taste and flavour of the resulting dish, so it is quite an important "can't do without" ingredient for many chefs/home cooks.



Stockpot
With so much issues surrounding salt and MSG intake, majority of commercially produced liquid stock, bouillon and stock cubes can not be fully trusted. With just a little bit of effort, you can have your own home made stock cubes ready within an hour or two...or maybe three!

Check out the following recipes for various types of stock you can make. You can vary the quantities of the individual ingredients used. The portion of chicken, beef or fish should however be about 2/3 of the entire list of ingredients. Also feel free to experiment and add any of your preferred herbs, spices or condiments not shown in the list.

Chicken Stock:
  • A whole chicken or about 800g of chicken pieces (a whole layer chicken or unwanted parts of the chicken will be ideal). Cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of partminger leaves or 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs of spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10g of fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons of ground ginger), 
  • 2 bay-leaves
  • 2-3 broad scent leaves
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder or cumin 
  • 1 table spoon groundnut paste or kuli kuli powder (optional)
  • Salt
  • 2 litres of water

Beef Stock
  • 800g of beef fragments, bits of ribs or bones chop into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of partminger leaves or 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs of spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10g of fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons of ground ginger), 
  • 2 bay-leaves
  • 2-3 broad scent leaves
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder 
  • 1 table spoon yaji (optional)
  • Salt
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1 small lump of kaun (this is optional but will act as a tenderiser and emulsifier if used)

Fish Stock
  • 800g of fish head and/or trimmings 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2-3 cloves of shallot
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs of spring onions
  • 2-3 broad scent leaves
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder 
  • 1 table spoon yaji (optional)
  • Salt
  • 2 litres of water

Vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ground iyere or black pepper corns
  • 200g of mushrooms
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small bunch of sweet basil
  • Salt
  • 2 spoons curry powder
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprgs of spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon of groundnut or beniseed paste
  • 2 litres of water

What to do (applies to all):
  1. The aim is to cook all the ingredients until completely soft and tender.
  2. Prep all ingredients and add (specific to the type of stock you want to make - see ingredients list above) into a large stock pot.
  3. Cook under low - moderate heat until all ingredients are cooked and disintegrate completely. This could vary between 1-3 hours depending on whether its chicken, beef, fish or vegetable stock you are making. 
  4. It's actually beneficial to ensure the meat, fish or vegetable pieces become very soft during the cooking process to extract all the goodness out of them.
  5. Once cooked, set aside to cool for minimum 30 minutes. Also this time will enable all excess fat in the stock to float to the surface. Carefully stream off this excess.
  6. Then carefully remove all bones or scrap pieces and pass the stock through a fine sieve. With a wooden spoon stir through the sediments to ensure as much of the stock "goodness" pass through the sieve, as possible.
  7. Stir the stock well and pour into ice-cube trays, containers or food bags in small portions. 
  8. Freeze until needed. Can last up to three months in the freezer.






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