This Is The Essential Ingredient That Can Make Every Dish You Cook More Delicious

This is used in many kitchens around the world, not just yours!

IMAGE Rainer Zenz /Wikipedia Commons

Some may scoff at the use of this super useful ingredient but there is no doubt that its flavor is the basis of many delicious dishes. The bouillon cube, also known as stock or broth cubes, is an universally-used ingredient. Many kitchens around the world use some form of this cube, and the advantages of using this ingredient in dishes are undeniable: it's easy to use and consistently deliver with a super powerful flavor every time. 

How did such a seemingly ordinary ingredient become a pantry staple across the globe?      

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Here's a brief history behind this ingredient and how to use it in your everyday cooking:  

The modern-day bouillon cube is basically a concentrated form of soup that could be rehydrated in boiling water that was "instantly" flavorful. To create this flavor, it could be said that the bouillon cube was derived from dehydrated food and extracts. A beef meat extract was invented in 1840 by Baron Justus von Liebeg but it would be years before it transformed into the OXO bouillon cube that Europeans know. A "dried soup" from Germany was introduced in Europe by a Carl Heinrich Knorr in 1873 using dried vegetables and seasonings. "Instant soups" using powered pea and bean flours was launched by Julius Maggi from Switzerland in 1885, and it was soon followed by a liquid seasoning that was used as the base ingredient for soups. 

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These inventions and innovations all became the bouillon cubes that we know today. 


"Bouillon" comes from the French word "boulliar", a verb that means "to boil".  Depending on what cut of meat was used to make the soup, a bouillon cube can be classified as a stock cube if its flavor was made from simmering meat bones or broth cube if it was made from simmering chunks of meat. Chicken, pork, and beef are the most commonly available variants but there are also other meats and flavors that have been concentrated into these cubes. Shrimp or seafood bouillon cubes can be found as well as vegetable broth cubes for the vegetarian lifestyle. We even have a tamarind stock cube for those who love their sinigang sa sampaloc. 

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However, it should be noted that not all of the flavor of these bouillon cubes come from meat. Advances in food technology have developed ways to extract meaty and delicious flavors, not just from meat but also from wheat, vegetables, seasonings, and other food to create the distinct tastes that we now associate with soups made from these concentrates. To make the bouillon cubes, dried food ingredients are mixed together to create a paste, formed into cubes, and then packaged. 

This is why it's important to dissolve bouillon cubes into hot water, and that's exactly how you use it, too: simply add a bouillon cube into hot water. The granules that make up the cube dissolve and become the concentrated soup we love using for our dishes. Depending on how much water you use, the flavor can be as intense or as light as you like it. The bouillon cube can also come in granular form. 


The bouillon cube is used in many kitchens around the world, including yours. Whatever form the super-concentrated soup comes in, the results are always the same: a meaty, tasty, and wonderfully seasoned dish that might otherwise be missing a key component in its flavor. Try it any of these delicious recipes.



Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here!

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