Best Stock To Buy in SG

14 Sep, 2018 | Editorials

Introduction:

 

No; not the stock market – I meant cooking stock liquid!

We had a great question from one of our participants; “What’s the best stock to buy?”; when we were cooking off some really yummy French onion soup. I told her; “Perhaps it best if I told you what I look for rather than me giving you a brand”.

  

#1: Stock Types:

 

There are 2 major types of stock for purchase in Singapore. One is cubed or compacted powder; the other in already liquid form or in some dehydrated version a paste or jelly concentrate.

Bottomline: Most cubed, powdered forms, generally, contain a lot of sodium in their content.

#2: Stock Flavours

 

In supermarkets, you’ll find a few different varieties such as: Chicken, Beef, Vegetable, Fish, Seafood or unique to SEA – ikan bilis stock.

While the Chicken, Beef, Vegetable, Fish stocks are pretty straightforward – seafood stock is made from not only fish, but bits of prawn and other shellfish. Ikan bilis on the other hand is made from well; ikan bilis and tastes a little deeper in umami than the generic fish stock.

Yes, there is such a thing as ‘vegetarian chicken stock’! It’s mostly made with roasting onions dark caramel with added salt; sprinkled with dehydrated herbs and spices to emulate the taste of roasted chicken!

Bottomline: If in doubt to use on the dish, use the vegetarian stock – its more neutral in flavour.

 

#3: Check the Ingredients Label

 

This is my MOST IMPORTANT TIP of the day. Check the ingredients label, and if possible the nutritional panel too! 

Here’s a rundown of Product X (Jelly), Y (Liquid) and Z (Powder) as examples, they truly show you how different chicken stock can be made of!

 

Product X (Jelly) Product Y (Liquid) Product Z (Powder)
Salt, Flavourings (Contain Soya, Gluten and Celery), Sugar, Chicken Extract and Fat, Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Isonate and Sodium Guanylate, Yeast Extract, Onion, Trisodium Cirtrate, Edible Gum and Sodium Hydroxide. Chicken Stock (98%) [Water, Chicken, Carrot, Celery, Cabbage, Onion, Sage Extract, Parsley], Salt, Sugar, Yeast Extract. Salt, Palm Fat, Monosodium Glutamate, Sugar, Chicken Meat and Fat, Cornstarch, Soya Sauce Flavourings (contains Wheat, Eggs), Palm Olein, Yeast Extract, Spices, Garlic, Sodium Isonate and Guanylate.
Sodium Content: ~200mg/100ml Sodium Content: ~450mg/100ml Sodium Content: ~700mg/100ml

 

 Here is what I look for:

1. Weird Sounding Science Words: Not all of them are ‘bad’, while some are used for additives other are more common and used as a preservatives (keeping it fresh). As a rule of thumb however; more is bad BUT Google it!

2. Known Bad Science Words: We all know Sodium Glutamate aka MSG to be not good for you in large amounts but other food additives like Sodium Isonate and Guanylate are more like MSG’s evil cousins.

3. Sodium Content: Sodium indicates the approximate amount of salt level that is in the product. Generally the more sodium it has, the more salty is tastes and less ‘real flavour’ is present. Sodium doesn’t do any wonders for your blood pressure either.

4. Order of Ingredients: In most cases, manufacturers have to list down ingredients by order of ‘most’ to ‘least’ in its label. You can generally say that most of the product Z is just made up in majority of salt, fat, MSG and sugar!

Bottomline: Read the ingredient labels and nutritional label! Not marketing labels. 

Conclusion:

 

Choosing between X, Y or Z? – mine would be Y. Somewhere middle on sodium count, but way less chemicals!

If you really have to use store bought stock, look into these criteria above before selecting one that best for you. Instant stock is great if you’re in the rush to cook something, however, none of this will beat a good old fashion stock that’s been cooked at home.

Want a cheater stock recipe for home? Let me know on facebook if you do need one!

As always have fun in the kitchen! – Chef Gary

Print Recipe
Pollo Asado
So here's our quick version of pollo asado. In reality 'pollo asado' just means 'grilled chicken' in Spanish. So our take is to marinate it in all sorts of wonderful spices then grill it in the oven (or the BBQ if you have one). 
Course Mains
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
portions
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Marinade
Course Mains
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
portions
Ingredients
Main Ingredients
Marinade
Instructions
  1. Butterfly the chicken, by removing the backbone of the chicken (using kitchen shears) or a sharp knife and spread out the chicken.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and let the chicken rest, and marinade for minimum of 4 hours.
  3. Arrange a baking pan with all your cut vegetables forming a trivet or a 'bed' for your chicken to roast on, then layer your marinated chicken on top.
  4. Roast in the oven at 180deg C for about 40 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Cover with some foil and let it rest for about 10 -15min before you carve into it to maintain the moist meat.
Recipe Notes

Chef Tips:

  1. Marinade Flavours: Go crazy! There's no one way to actually flavour pollo asado. The most important components are: Oil, Acids & Flavourings. You can pick different acid such as grapefruit. Mix and match your herbs and spices to create different inspired profiles!
  2. Marinade Timing: Minimum 4 hours but if you can do it overnight - its going to be much better!
  3. Oven Vs. BBQ: If you are fortunate enough to own your own BBQ, this recipe would work much better. Just mind your temperatures though.
  4. Basting: Doesn't matter if your on a BBQ or the oven, use the leftover marinade to continually baste the chicken every 10-15minutes. Not only will get nice and golden brown, it will impart more flavours as you cook.
  5. Vegetable base, 'trivet': You can cook this recipe without all the vegetables (esp. if you're on a BBQ, however, its imperative you have a 'base' of something in the oven so that the heat can evenly distribute and the underside of the chicken cooks just as well.
  6. Let it rest! : You might want to rest the chicken until you touch it with bare hands. This let's the juices in the chicken settle, making sure its still tender.
  7. Serve it up w/ condiments: Chilli sauce? Saffron, paprika Mayo? You pick it.. it'll be delicious either way.