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What to do with leftover broth/stock? Or ok/no guilt throwing it out?

I have a great and simple recipe for savory tofu: press tofu, marinate in vegetable broth, bake. I eat the cubes like nuggets cold if I need a pick me up or, more often, slice the cubes I cut before baking into smaller pieces and stir-fry with broccoli. Simple and savory off-the-charts.

My problem is I feel like I am wasting the broth. I dissolve one bouillon cube in two cups of boiling water to get the broth that I use to marinate the tofu. After being in the fridge at least over night, I bake the tofu but am left with I suppose at least half of the watery broth left. And I dump it out in the sink.

I really cared about this when I first just used leftover vegetable broth in the aseptic packaging. When I wanted to recreate the recipe, I realized that that broth was $3.19 a package and I said heck no. Then I remembered I had bouillon cubes so I think it's now about 50 cents of cube/broth that I am using and dumping out, so much less.

I figure I can use leftover broth to just marinate another batch of tofu or tempeh (or vegetables?) but I think what's holding me back is that the tiny bits of tofu left over in the marinade weird me out. Silly.

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  1. How about straining it and freezing it to use the next time you make tofu?

    1. Toss it, guilt free. It's done the "work" planned for it.

      1. Do you use a cornstarch slurry or add any liquid to your stir-fry? Perhaps you can use the liquid in there since the dish will have tofu bits and veg. broth flavor anyway.

        2 Replies
        1. re: seamunky

          Hmmm, tell me more about using liquid in the stir-fry.

          Ok, here is what I meant by "stir-fry": I bake the tofu chunks after they've marinated. Then I keep in the fridge. Then I take broccoli, throw it in a pan with oil and brown it (omg so good). I've started throwing a tablespoon of water in there because I've gotten myself to believe it's steaming whatever's in there (oh, I keep a lid on the pan during all this). Then I slice up the tofu chunks and throw them in there for a bit. Then salt.

          I have been hesitant to add more liquid to the pan or to actually bake the tofu in the liquid in the pan I marinate it in. Probably because the method I have been using so far is the only way in years that I've successfully been able to prepare tofu. I just ate it deliciously made at restaurants instead!

          1. re: adenhailemariam

            Well, if you're throwing a tablespoon of water in there, just throw in the broth instead.

        2. I'm thinking that's expensive bouillon at 50 cents/cube. Have you tried Better than Bouillon in the glass jar? It's less than $5 and makes 9.5 quarts. If my math is right (correct me if I'm wrong, please) that is something on the order of 12 cents for 2 cups of broth.

          3 Replies
          1. re: gourmanda

            Your math is wrong. 2 cups=1 pint. 9.5 qts=19 pints, so roughly 26 cents a pint.

            1. re: greygarious

              You're right.

              Still, it's less than the 50 cents the cube costs. And if the OP is using 1 cube for 2 cups of water then the cost of BTB is halved as he/she would be using only 1t./pint of water.

              1. re: gourmanda

                I feel like I bought it for $3.99 or less (it's the Rapunzel brand) but now I think I bought it for $2.99. I can't really recall but, yea, it's cheaper than the broth in aseptic packing.

                Gosh, I can't remember what vegetable broth I bought that tasted so good out of the package. I think I was sick at the time so I was really into it.

                Or maybe that was miso soup.

            1. re: ricepad

              Sodium ion poisoning can kill a dog.

                1. re: weezieduzzit

                  Sure, but half a bouillon cube's worth of salt ain't gonna kill my dog.

                  1. re: ricepad

                    Yes, but the MSG may give him an headache.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Are you kidding? He loves the meatiness that MSG adds!

                      1. re: ricepad

                        Yes, who doesn't like the initial MSG, he will get migraine in a hour or two, and act all weird later. He will stop chasing the squirrels and hide in the dark.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            Ah, the Chinese dogs are immune from this, right?

              1. <I dissolve one bouillon cube in two cups of boiling water >

                Since this is not real home made broth or stock, I won't worry about it. Bouillon cubes are very cheap and it takes no effort to dissolve in water. This is not like spending hours to get a home made stock.

                1. If you're talking about bouillon like Knorr or similar, I would ditch it. It's so full of salt and chemicals that would be even more concentrated than originallly diluted due to the evaporation of the water when cooking that I would think it would taste pretty bad.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                    It's the Rapunzel brand, I have the no salt added and the sea salt/herbs one. I think I first bought it years ago to use in a pot pie. Good to keep around in the pantry for random, "there's nothing to eat" kind of days.

                    I mean to use in rice or something haha not eating the cube.

                  2. Either add some chopped veggies and make a quick soup or toss it.
                    I think its weird to save used stock from a bullion cube- delicious homemade stock is another story.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      I agree - when I first opened the topic I was imagining my own homemade chicken stock that I let cook overnight and is the richest, velvetiest thing you can imagine. I save every drop because it elevates every recipe I put it in.

                      But I use instant Hon dashi bonito fish stock for marinades, and I toss that when I'm finished without a second thought. I can whip up more from the dry crystals in seconds, and it takes no effort and very little $.

                      1. re: khh1138

                        I feel bad now haha I have these beautiful blog posts and such of vegetable broth made from scraps that I really plan on making but it's bouillon now. And, man, I wouldn't want to throw homemade stock out. Just thinking about it has my mouth watering.

                        I even had soup for breakfast today.

                    2. From a cube used to marinate? Toss it. As someone else said, it's done its job.

                      1. If you really don't like to waste it, you could probably get away with using a smaller volume of stock to marinate the tofu-- cut the bouillon cube in half, use only one cup of water, and then marinate the tofu in a ziplock bag, with the air squeezed out (or sucked out with a straw) The tofu will still absorb what it needs, and you'll just have less left over at the end.

                        Or, you know, throw caution to the wind, use the whole cube, and pitch the leftovers. If half the broth gets used up, you're only pouring a quarter's worth down the drain. It's like trimming leeks. You use the part you need and toss the rest in good conscience.

                        1. Nothing wrong with tossing it, but if you absolutely wanted to put it to (good?) use, try adding a bit when making rice. Or better yet, use it as the liquid to boiling noodles/pasta.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I'm the person who after years of baking still feels bad for not getting every bit of batter or mousse or whatever scraped from a bowl. I'm getting better, though haha

                          2. Use it for Rice! You'll be amazed at the added flavor!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                              It's always something that my mother makes that I can't quite make right but that reminds me of her insanely flavorful rice. I think I've made rice with broth before and it was great.

                              (I think my mother somehow adds garlic to her basmati rice that makes it great but I at least add cardamom pods and cloves to it like she does and that tastes great. And on yet another side note, riced cooked in coconut milk is great, too.)

                            2. Bouillon cubes hardly make stock. Toss it.

                              1. Ok, I feel better about tossing it in general. Thanks for the ideas!

                                1. I was going to say rice, but someone already beat me to it. In that same spirit though, you can cook pasta in it too.