Jan 23, 2006 at 1:03 pm #1217596
Almost everything tastes better in the outdoors. Even bullion cubes approach tolerability. However, as soups and sauces are the basis for much of my one burner cuisine, I’ve looked for means other than bullion cubes for creating rich, flavorful backcountry soups and sauces.
The best alternatives I’ve found are glaces and demi-glazes, real soup stocks reduced to a gel like consistency that are highly concentrated in flavor, low in salt, and require no refridgeration for reasonable periods in warm weather.
I used to make them myself, slowly reducing clear stocks for many hours. Now, there are a few commercially available glaces. The one I’ve used is by “More than Gourmet” called a “Demi-Glace”.
Flavors range from veggie to chicken to beef to seafood and beyond. Individual packets of 1.5oz and 16oz bulk size are available. The small pack is under $6 dollars and makes from 1 to 3 servings depending upon strength. Far superior to the flavor of bullion, just add water for a real gourmet treat.
Glaces are now a staple of my backcountry kitchen. Though I haven’t done much boil-n-bag cooking glaces should provide a rich flavor boost to the technique.Jan 23, 2006 at 3:47 pm #1349157
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
They sound great! Where can I find these critters?Jan 23, 2006 at 4:07 pm #1349159
try searching for “more than gourmet” and “demi-glace”. I think that’s how they bill themselves. I’m pretty sure they have a web presence.Jan 24, 2006 at 12:16 am #1349176
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Yup, there they are. I’ll bet I’d be happy eating these at home!
MerciJan 24, 2006 at 12:37 am #1349177
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Steve, Any idea of the milligrams of salt content in the various glaces?
EDIT: no need to reply, just found the nutrional info. Many thanks for starting a Thread about these glaces. Looks like an excellent product.Jan 24, 2006 at 8:00 am #1349183
Not bad for sodium (though still way to high for a low sodium diet!!).
I might at least have to try this out on the family-it would be an intresting concept for trail cooking.
Thnaks!Jan 25, 2006 at 2:53 pm #1349297
Glace is a classic technique of great french chefs. But they probably learned it from the Italians. This IS the original bullion cube.
I keep a few at home for when I’m too lazy to make a stock. Dilute with water and add seasoning. Also glace’s are great for rich sauce bases. At home or in the mountains I saute a challot or onions and garlic in butter or oil. Sprinkle some flour and cook briefly till bubbling. Add the glace, a little water, a few herbs, salt, pepper, and it’s beef or chicken or turkey or seafood gravy.
Miso is another great substitute for bullion. It also travels pretty well without refridgeration. For soup just warm some filtered water (actually you don’t want to boil miso), add a piece of dried seaweed and bonita powder (the traditional flavor additions to miso soup) stir in a couple spoons of miso and it’s soup! tofu and chopped green onions are good additions. Miso also makes a good base for salad like dressings.
Edit – It just dawned on me that Miso soup could probably be made very easily in a baggie as no sauteing is needed. It’s basically heat and serve. I’ll have to try. BTW, miso does have salt. White miso is recommended for miso newcomers as it is mildest in flavor. It also contains the least sodium (about 1,000 milligrams sodium per tablespoon).
I know that bullion is quick and easy but I never feel like I’m eating food when it’s at the heart of the meal.Jan 25, 2006 at 3:19 pm #1349301
Steve, I have a couple miso recipes on my website-in the vegan/veg section and under soups.
It is very easy indeed-and good with freeze dried chives added.
For me, I use low sodium boullion. Not what I want to use ;-) But it passes…..at home I use stock only!Jan 25, 2006 at 4:14 pm #1349304
Thanks Sarah. I was just looking at your site and the Miso stew is a wonderful idea. Your recipe suggestions reminded me that curry paste is another in the growing list of alternatives to bullion cubes.
Which reminds me – “Ethnic” cuisine is more the norm than not here in northern california. One great resource is a chain of groceries called 99 Ranch market – these are veritable warehouses the size of costco with food stuffs from all over asia; dried everything, endless varieties of rice and noodles, tofu in vacumn sealed boxes, spices for any taste, mystery pastes and stuff that looks like no human should approach. It’s a backpacking chefs dream.
Looks like they have a url of 99ranch.com . Stores concentrated in California but also has stores in Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington. Plus a joint venture with the Chinese Canadian T & T Supermarket chain, which operates mainly in the Vancouver area and also Calgary and Toronto.Jan 25, 2006 at 5:22 pm #1349311
Yep, we have some near me.
I work for http://www.importfood.com – we run an online Thai/Japanese with some Chinese and Indian website.
I love my job…I get to try new foods all the time! :-D (Which if anyone ever orders from the site, most likely your order will be packed by me.)
In Seattle and Bellevue in Wa, an awesome place to shop is:
They are like the Asian superstore. Very clean also!
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