I’m not a big fan of boxed vegetable stock* — not that I make my own, that’s way too much trouble.** We use a lot of the beef, and even more of the chicken (Kitchen Basics brand), but the veggie version just doesn’t do much for me. Maybe because there’s just a hint of a Knorr-style dried carrots and peppers taste. Maybe because there’s nothing umami about it. Recently, that changed, because I found a way to doctor up the stock so that it tastes quite good. I tried this with standard ramen noodles, and also with the thick udon noodles. Have not tried it with oatmeal yet.

1 cup Kitchen Basics vegetable stock
2 tblsp mirin sauce
1 tblsp dashi soup powder
1/2 tsp miso soup powder
1/2 tsp soy sauce

The mirin adds a touch of sweet to offset the bitter Knorr-like undertones. The rest add a rich umaminess.

If you are cooking ramen in this, I’d recommend you hold off and put the dashi powder in at the last minute.

*Yes, I know that a stock is made with bones and a broth isn’t. Vegetables have very soft bones that are hard to detect. At least, that’s what the Marketing Department tells me.
** Update 2014: Now that I have a 3-function electric pressure cooker, making broth is as easy as cutting up carrots and onions, throwing in leftover chicken or beef bones (recycle that t-bone!), and letting it run on its own for half an hour. I do this once a week, and I haven’t bought boxed stock in months.


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2 Responses to “UmamiStock”

  1. Kurt Says:

    Have you tried seaweed and oatmeal yet? I’m curious and gutless at the same time–bought a big box of tasty seaweed from Costco (god for munching) and thought that since it went well with things that go well with oats, it might be okay as a single or part of a set of ingredients with oats.

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