How to make stock using your vegetable scraps

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I am on a mission to reduce my food waste. So step one of this quest starts at using my ingredients to their full potential. Even an onion peel can be a rockstar in the kitchen.

It is extremely satisfying to make your own stock. The difference in taste between store-bought and homemade is like comparing frozen pizza to Pizza Hut stuffed crust pie. There is no compromise once you’ve made your own stock.

This recipe uses everyday nubs and peels. I usually preserve all of the scraps in an airtight container in the freezer, until the day where it’s slightly overfilled. Then, the sweet smell of vegetables releasing all their flavour into a fragrant cauldron of deliciousness overtakes the house. Adding miso is the umami “cherry on top of the sundae”.

What scraps can you use?

In my research, I very much enjoy mushroom stems, carrot stems, celery stalks, cabbage, herbs. Basically, any vegetable scraps can do the trick. A very good tip is to preserve your bones if you are cooking meat. Shellfish shells are also amazing to keep. Experiment, keep your scraps, bones and, shells.

Making your own stock

This is what I used to create my flavourful shrimp stock. Again, it is easier to use what you have kept frozen for the occasion.

  • Three, 1L containers full of scraps (In this version, I used cabbage stems, carrots, shrimp shells, onion peels, garlic cloves, mushroom stems)
  • Three stalks of celery
  • 8 L of water
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 10 twigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Steps

  1. In a large pot, probably the biggest one in your kitchen, add all the ingredients and top with the water.
  2. Reduce on medium heat, until the 8 litres of water becomes 2 litres of stock. The water evaporates from the pot and leaves behind flavour. This process will take up to 2 hours.
  3. Strain the liquid into large glass containers and let it cool before freezing or refrigerating.
  4. Taste the stock, and season accordingly. You know what she needs.
  5. Finally, throw all those scraps into the compost.

Shrimp miso broth with noodles

Concretely use your newfound skill, and make yourself a steaming bowl of noodles, to warm up your day. As I’m writing this, the rain is gently taking slapping against my window, letting me know it’s noodle time. This recipe is incredibly simple, quick and, obviously delicious. Plus, you get that extra satisfaction for using the stock you made yourself. The miso adds that umami saltiness and the noodles are irresistible. Try not slurping this shit up.

What you need

  • 2 cups of your homemade shrimp stock
  • 1 tbsp of red Thai chillies
  • 2 tbsp of green onion
  • 1 tbsp red miso
  • 1 pack of ramen noodles (Or any noodle you prefer)
  • Salt, pepper
  • Juice and zest from 1 lime

Steps

  1. Warm-up your stock in a small pot, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, lime juice and, miso to the vessel. Then, bring to a simmer. Reduce slightly for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the noodles directly into the broth, and cook until the noodles become tender and twirlable.
  4. Top with chilies, green onions and, lime zest.

Do not be afraid to add anything you like to this recipe. Except for ketchup. Just don’t. But extra shrimp, bean sprouts, peanuts, shredded carrot, could all be included in this broth. Possibilities are endless.

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