Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, dinner was always family-style and there was usually some sort of broth with dinner. It would vary between chicken, pork, and beef bones with a variety of carrots, melons, roots, herbs, and other aromatics. When I became an adult, broth with dinner was when I visit my parents. I do crave a bowl of broth, my go-to is Vietnamese Pho, when I’m sick or hungover. Yes, more than a greasy hamburger. There is something about a warm bowl of bone broth that just soothes me from head to toe. I think it is similar to having chicken noodle soup.
With all the healthy food trends, bone broth has gained popularity in the last few years. After having two kids and my body not being able to recover as it used to in my 20s, I started paying more attention to the healthy food trends. I realized some of the benefits of bone broth that I didn’t know or care about when I was forced to drink it growing up. The common claims on the benefits of bone broth are immunity support, digestive health, and supporting healthy skin and bones, to name a few. I personally will claim hangover cure as a benefit too!
My kids love bone broth. I usually keep the salt content low because they will drink it by the glass. I have some picky eaters right now, especially with meat. I found it as a good supplement for them to gain other nutrients that they can’t get in pasta alone. We drink bone broth a lot during the winter months to give us the extra immunity support. They love noodles, so I’ll put some rice noodles in with the broth to make it a meal. Princesses love noodles!
How To Make It
All you need is time and a large pot. I don’t have my mother’s knowledge or skills in the traditional Chinese bone broth, but making your basic bone broth is pretty simple. It will take a total of about 5 hours on the stove, but it will only be about 30 mins hands-on. You can boil it for less, but the broth will not be as rich in flavor. You first need to have a large stockpot, a minimum of 12 quarts with a stainless steel lid. I like to make a large batch each time to have on hand and also share with others (the pictures from this batch I shared with a friend that just gave birth to her baby boy.)
Where to get the bones?
If you have a good butcher, you can ask them what they have access to. The key is getting it from a good source. Whole Foods has been my go-to for bones. They have pork and grass-fed beef bones to choose from.
You can do the same with the leftover of a turkey. See adjustments below.
- 3-4 lbs of bones
- 2 large onions
- 5-6 large carrots or 1 large daikon (I switch between the two for different flavoring)
- Parboil the bones. Fill the pot with ⅓ – ½ of water (you may need more depending on how big the bones are) and bring it to a boil. Put the bones in and lightly boil it for about 10-15 mins. Parboiling is a way of cleansing the bones. Once the bones been parboiled, remove the bones from the water and set aside. Discard the water.
- Fill the pot up to about 3/4 full of water. Bring water to a boil.
- Add bones, carrots, onions into the boiling water with about 2 tbsp of salt. Start with 1 tablespoon if you are using less than a 10-quart pot.
- Bring it back to a boil then lower the heat till it’s at a steady rolling boil. The key to a good broth is time. Keep it covered and at a steady rolling boil for about 5 hours.
- At about the 4th hour, give it a taste. Add salt to your liking. A little salt can go a long way in broth, so I recommend adding no more than ½ a tablespoon at a time. Stir and taste before adding more.
- When done boiling and salted to your liking, strain broth, and store in mason jars. I personally like the bits of onion and carrots in my broth, so I’ll keep a jar or two unstrained.
You can make a flavorful broth with what’s left of a whole turkey. The seasoned turkey along with the carrots and onions comes together really well. Skip the parboiling of the bones since it is already cooked and put it directly in a pot of boiling water. Continue with the rest of the instructions.
You can use the bone broth just like stock out of the carton and cook many meals with, but our favorite way is to drink it straight or with noodles.
How will you use it?
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