Also Known As
Bouillon cubes are dehydrated stock cubes which act as flavouring agents. They have gained importance over the years since they save cooking time and the amount of ingredients that go into making a flavourful stock. Bouillon was first introduced in late 1800's in the granular form.
Later on, the cube was developed. They are made by dehydrating vegetables, meat stock, hydrogenated fat, salt and seasonings. Since they are dehydrated, the salt content is higher. Thus, one has to check the amount of salt when using cubes in a recipe. Bouillon cubes have intense flavour and are produced in various forms- vegetarian, fish stock cubes, poultry and meat stock cubes etc.
In order to use bouillon cubes in a recipe, just mix the cube with warm water and then use as required. The advantage of having cubes is that one can apportion a number of cubes as per recipe requirements. Thus, the measures can never go wrong. They are a convenience product and are inexpensive.
However do note that the flavour is very different from what one would achieve while making a fresh stock.
How to select
There are various brands available in the market from which you can choose. The common ones are Maggi, Oxo, Knorr, Goya etc. Various flavours would include vegetarian, beef, fish, chicken etc. You can buy single cubes or purchase in bulk wherein the packaging has around 40 to 50 single cubes in one bag. Whichever brand you purchase, do ensure you check the manufacturing date, expiry date and the packaging.
· They are primarily used as a seasoning agent. Mix with 2 tbsp warm water and transfer to the stock pot containing boiling water. Mix well and your stock to make soups is ready.
· When you are pressed for time, one can actually combine vegetarian bouillon cubes with warm water to make a readymade quick soup.
· Bouillon cubes are readily used to flavour other dishes except stocks and soups. Use to flavour curries, gravies, stews, casseroles, stir fries, subzis etc.
· Toss with noodles pasta etc for the curry effect.
· Combine with grated cheese and cream to make a flavourful marinade for tandoori tikkas- vegetarian as well as non vegetarian.
How to store
Store in a cool dry place in air tight containers away from moisture. As far as possible, each cube should be stored in its own packaging. If opened, transfer to air tight container and use as soon as possible since it would otherwise lose its aroma.
· Since bouillon cubes contain a lot of preservatives, especially mono sodium glutamate, it is advised to use these cubes in moderation.
· It is not advisable to use these cubes in foods, which are going to be consumed by children aged up to 3 yrs.