2 years ago I started making bone broth when I heard about its wondrous ability to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, detox and heal our joints, skin, hair, nails and digestive system. This simple stock-like soup is packed full of collagen, amino acids and minerals from the bones as well as nutrients from the vegetables added. It has become a staple in my daily meals ever since. Here’s how you can brew a batch of it at home in Singapore!
- 1-2 kg of Beef Bones
– preferably pasture-raised (grass-fed)
– bone cuts with the marrow still in them are a bonus! (joints, knuckles)
– aim for around 2 lbs of bones per gallon of water (~1 kg bones to 3.8 L)
- 1 Packet of Chicken Feet
– or around 10 pieces
– preferably Kampong Chicken (free-range)
- ~ 2 Tbsp of Something Acidic
– Apple Cider Vinegar / Red Wine Vinegar / Half a Lemon
– This helps to draw the nutrients out of the bones
– Sufficient to submerge the bones (I usually just fill up the pot)
– preferably filtered potable water
- ~2 Tbsp of Salt
– I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt for its abundance of minerals and trace elements
- ~4 Tbsn of Coconut Oil
- Assortment of vegetables and aromatics:
*this list is not exhaustive. Feel free to change it to suit your taste!
– 2~3 Carrots (scrubbed and roughly chopped)
– 2~3 stalks of Celery (roughly chopped)
– 1 Onion (quartered)
– 1 Hunk of Ginger (sliced)
– 1 Tsp of Peppercorns
- Herbs for taste:
– 4-8 cloves of Garlic (peeled and smashed)
– A handful of Thyme
*Do note these quantities are for a 7.5L soup pot (~2 gallon)
Total preparation time: 10 mins
Total Cooking time: 48 hours
- Place the Beef Bones in the pot and fill with water.
(Do not fill to the brim, leave enough room to add the vegetables later)
- Add the acidic element (lemon / vinegar).
- Turn up the heat until the water starts to boil furiously.
- Turn down the heat to let it simmer for the next 48 hours.
- After 24 hours, add the carrots, celery, onions, ginger, peppercorns, salt, coconut oil and chicken legs.
- In the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and thyme.
- After 48 hours, remove from heat and strain out all solids. Transfer to glass jars or metal containers and leave to cool.
- When cooled to room temperature, store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for future use.
Some people like to roast the bones before putting them in to boil. The upside is that this process adds a lot more flavour to the broth. The downside is that the roasting process oxidizes the fats in the bones and marrow due to the high temperatures and availability of oxygen. This is a source of inflammation which I try to avoid. However, baking your bones at 320°F (160°C) and below reduces the risks. Reduce them further by adding lemon, sage, green tea, rosemary, oregano and turmeric while baking.
The broth can be drunk by itself as a drink if you make it tasty enough ;).
Traditionally bone broths were like medicine for whenever someone came down with a cold or fever. Besides being rich in nutrients, the long cooking process helps break down most of the nutrients from the vegetables and bones into simpler, more easily digestible forms. This spares your body the energy needed to break them down yourself which can then be diverted to the immune system and prioritised for healing.
However, I use the broth as a soup base to cook most of my meals. Its really simple. Just heat up the broth from the fridge and dump in a bunch of vegetables and some protein.
You can even change the taste by adding any of the following ingredients to your soup:
(again this list is non-exhaustive)
- More thyme / rosemary / parsley / cilantro / mint / basil
- Zha Cai (pickled mustard aka Szechuan vegetable)
- Miso paste*
*Try to source for Organic Non-GMO brands