The Easy Way To Add Bouillon To Your Dish When You Only Need A Little

With the rise in popularity of bone broths, it can be easy to forget that there is another, somewhat more manageable way to bring concentrated meat or vegetable flavor to a dish. We're talking, of course, about bouillon. Though they are probably more at home in your parent's or grandparents' kitchens than in yours, bouillon products are nevertheless a great way to add flavor whether you're on a budget or just in a rush. The only problem is that bouillon can be rather difficult to portion out. A little goes a long way. Fortunately, by using a microplane or box grater, you have an easy way to add bouillon proportionally without causing it to overpower the whole dish.

Bouillon products are the industrialized version of their namesake French broth. It commonly comes in a couple of different forms, including powdered, paste, and the ever-famous cubes. As far as measurements go, powdered bouillon is going to be your best bet. You can open a packet or container and measure out what you need to use little by little. 

However, if you've only got bullion cubes, which is arguably the most common form, you can run into a bit of a problem. As they are intentionally packaged into compact little cubes, you can't do much to change the measurement ratio without threatening the structure of the cube. Yet, if you have a microplane or box grater at your disposal, things could be a little different.

How to grate your bouillon cubes

One of the reasons you might want to invest in a microplane or cheese grater, at least as far as bouillon cubes are concerned, is to better control the salt content. Bouillon cubes get a lot of their flavor from the sodium crammed into them. So, where one cube might actually be too much bouillon for one dish, using your microplane to grate it into measurable portions is an easy way to keep the salt levels in your meal balanced.

Microplanes are long, thin metal tools that have a series of serrated teeth. They can be used to grate anything from cheese, lemons, and bouillon cubes. Simply take your cube and run it across the microplane a few times. It will release finely grated shavings of boullion, which you can then use to flavor your dish. A box grater will work here too. Just make sure you're using the smaller-sized blades and keeping the cube close to the bottom of the box so it doesn't end up stuck at the top.

In cooking, there is always a way to work around a problem. By grating the cube, you not only get the measurement you want — you keep the cube intact for future use. So don't discount those bullion cubes in your pantry. They may be of some use to you yet.