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Food tip on removing excess fat from stocks, sauces, soups and stews

I received an email from Yinghui somewhere in Asia, they had heard that lettuce leaves could be used for removing fat from stocks, sauces, soups and stews and wanted to know if this was true and why.

Well, yes this will work and works purely because the lettuce acts as a 'sponge' and soaks it up, you place the lettuce leaves on top of the ‘offending item’ and leave for a minute or so and then remove with tongs and discard. Other vegetables could be used also but lettuce being the lightest can just sit on the surface where the fat would be. It does seem a great waste of lettuce though, when a good size spoon or ladle will also do the trick, here are the two methods I always use:

  • As the rendered fat comes to the surface take a soup ladle or large spoon and make a small circular motion in the centre of the pot: this will (because of centrifugal) force the fat to the sides
  • Scoop the fat up and dispose
  • Repeat as necessary

If the stock, sauce, soup, stew etc is not needed until the next day, this is much easier:

  • Transfer the soup into a bowl or similar clean container
  • Place in the refrigerator over night
  • The fat will settle on the surface and turn solid, which is very easily removed by hand

On a related issue, if you would like to know more you can read how to remove excess salt from stocks, sauces, soups and stews.


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Food and Cooking Tips
from professional
Chef Tallyrand


Born and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education. It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis de Gardemanger.

Germany gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and famous, as half way through his first year, along with the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference, where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev, the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook for or get to know over the years . . .

If you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's own web site www.tallyrand.info (link in main menu)

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com