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
Singapore Oyster Omelette - Orh Lua
Oysters Omelette is one of my must order dish when I am at East Coast Lagoon Hawker Centre. I frequent the stall so often that the boss recognizes me and will always give me a bigger portion. While waiting for my order, I would always stand there and watch the boss prepare my order and will ask if questions on how to prefect this oyster omelette at home. Oysters: He told me that he is using oysters from Korea as it is large in size and it is creamier and sweeter in taste. Temperature: The pan must be smoking hot before you pour in the batter in order to get the crispness from the starch batter. Ratio of starch to eggs: The balance of starch to eggs is the trick to perfecting this dish as you want to make sure in every mouth you get a good mix of eggs and starch. Lard: You definitely need some pork lard and lard oil to get that flavor in there. There is no substitute for the lard flavour. Chilli: Oyster omelette is never complete without the vinegar chili sauce! You can do a cheat version by adding lime and rice vinegar to the store-bought samba chilli paste. This recipe only requires a few ingredients and it takes less than 30 mins to prep and cook! Do let us know what you think of the recipe!
Course Sides
Cuisine Singapore
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings
people
Ingredients
Starch Solution Mix
Seasoning Sauce
Others
Oysters
Course Sides
Cuisine Singapore
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings
people
Ingredients
Starch Solution Mix
Seasoning Sauce
Others
Oysters
Instructions
  1. Mix all the flour in a bowl with 1 cup water and set aside.
  2. Marinade oysters with hua tiao wine and soya sauce. Set aside.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for making seasoning sauce in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Beat 3 eggs in a mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp of the seasoning sauce.
  5. In a heated pan, add in some lard oil and pour in the starch batter.
  6. When the batter turns crispy at the edges, add in the beaten eggs.
  7. Sprinkle the chives/ spring onions in and drizzle some seasoning sauce and lard oil over.
  8. Flip the omelette over and separate into smaller pieces.
  9. Push the omelette to one side and add in garlic and fry for a few seconds.
  10. Add in the oysters and mix well with the garlic. Drizzle some seasoning sauce over the oysters and mix well with the omelette.
  11. Dish up and garnish with coriander leaves.
Recipe Notes

Click here if you are interested in learning how to make other Singapore local cuisines!