The Buyer’s Guide to Stock

Ready-made stock adds a depth of flavour to your dishes in an instant. Read our buyer’s guide to discover the different types of stock, which stock is the best to buy, and how to use stock in your cooking.

What is stock?

Stock is a liquid base, traditionally made by simmering bones and vegetables in water. The collagen from the meat thickens the stock and creates a gelatinous layer when cooled – this is fantastic for frying vegetables in. Stock adds a rich depth of flavour to dishes, anything from risotto to paella to pho

What is soup stock made of?

A basic stock is simply made of water, bones and vegetables with no extra seasoning added. However stocks come in all varieties including fish stock made with squid and shrimp, and pho seasoning stock cubes for making Vietnam’s most famous dish. 

What is the difference between soup and stock?

Stock is a liquid base, added to risottos, soups and gravy to provide a depth of flavour to the dish, whereas a soup is a seasoned dish in itself, typically made using stock.

How to cook with stock?

Stock is a must-have when making risottos, soups and gravy. Read on for our recipes that use stock:

Arroz Negro - Spanish Black Rice Recipe

Spanish Black Rice

Use fish stock to cook the paella rice and provide an umami depth of flavour to this Spanish dish.

Valencian Fideuà Paella Recipe

Valencian Fideuà Paella Recipe

A very good quality fish stock cooks the fideo noodles and adds a rich flavour to this Spanish paella.

Fuchsia Dunlop's Sichuan Soup Noodles with Minced Pork Topping

Sichuan Soup Noodles

A rich chicken stock forms the base of this Sichuan soup noodles dish. 

Vietnamese Pho With Shirataki Noodle Nests

Vietnamese Pho

Pair vegetable stock with soy sauce and fish sauce to create a pungent, umami-rich base to this Vietnamese pho. 

Umami-Rich Chicken Shirataki Noodle Soup Recipe

Noodle Soup

This shirataki noodle recipe is inspired by the flavours of Chinese chicken noodle soup, with umami undertones from the shiitake mushrooms and a rich chicken stock base.

Which is the best stock to buy?

Navarrico Fumet Fish Stock, 480ml

Navarrico fumet fish stock gives you the great flavour of homemade fish stock in an instant. Rich with squid, shrimp and tomatoes, the concentrated fish stock, or fumet, is ready to use to give an authentic flavour to your paellas and Spanish stews.

Essential Cuisine Beef Stock Mix, 800g

Essential Cuisine’s beef gravy base just needs water to become a glossy sauce, great for pouring over a variety of meaty dishes, from your rare roast beef at Sunday lunch to blushing pink beef wellington.

Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock Mix, 800g

Essential Cuisine’s chicken stock mix adds an umami base to risottos, soups and gravies in a matter of seconds. Simply add a 16g of stock mix to a litre of boiling water for a rich, instant stock. 

Essential Cuisine Vegetable Stock Mix, 800g

Essential Cuisine’s vegetable stock adds a depth of flavour to soups, risottos and gravy, simply add a 16g of stock mix to a litre of boiling water for an flavour-packed instant stock. Once made, pour over mushroom wellingtons for a meat-free Sunday roast, or blitz with roasted veggies for a nourishing soup.

Phở seasoning stock cubes make or enhance classic Vietnamese phở – perhaps Vietnam’s most famous dish. Dissolve one phở seasoning stock cube in 500ml boiling water and continue boiling for 2-3 minutes to make a soup base for the broth. 

Shop all stock, and try our best noodle recipes here.


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