Delicious Fish Bone Broth for Virility

IMG_3089.JPG
You won’t believe how tasty this was until you actually taste it!

Virility
vɪˈrɪlɪti/
noun
(in a man) the quality of having strength, energy, and a strong sex drive; manliness.
synonyms: manliness, masculinity, maleness, manfulness, manhood, machismo, gallantry, chivalry, valour, valiance, fearlessness, bravery, intrepidity, stout-heartedness, lion heartedness, boldness, daring, heroism, mettle, spirit

Traditional lore across many societies believed that fish stock helps young boys grow into strong men, makes childbirth easy and cures fatigue. Nutritionally, the broth and soups made from fish heads and carcasses provide our bodies with much required minerals, especially iodine. Equally or if not more important is the thyroid hormones and substances extracted from the heads of fish that have the ability of nourishing our thyroid glands. An undernourished thyroid gland can lead to symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, frequent colds and flu, inability to concentrate, depression and a host of more serious complications like heart disease and cancer. [1]

This was the first time I tried cooking fish bone broth. I got the fish carcases from a local fresh market fishmonger. It was SGD$5 for 2 bags of Snapper bones with meat attached to them. There were a few varieties of fish heads but since this was my first time I decided to just go with the bones.

The recipe called for non-oily fish because apparently, “Classic cooking texts advise against using oily fish such as salmon for making broth, probably because highly unsaturated fish oils become rancid during the long cooking process.” [2] I guess if you are only planning to boil an hour, oily fish is okay. However good fish broth with lots of skin, bone, joint and gut healing gelatin needs simmering time of at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Besides, the longer you simmer, the more aromatic and magical the flavour of the broth becomes! The results of this first fish bone broth experiment are summarized below, after the recipe.

The following recipe is adapted from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook! It can also be found here.

Ingredients

IMG_3074
Snapper carcasses after the veggies have been gently cooked in ghee.
  • Snapper carcasses, not sure how many but in total it weighed about 1 kg
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • several sprigs fresh thyme
  • several sprigs chinese parsley (coriander)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
    • didn’t have white wine on hand so I mixed equal volume water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Cold filtered water (enough to cover all ingredients)
  • 4 x 5ml spoon (or ~1.5 tbsp) of pink himalayan sea salt

Instructions

  1. Melt ghee in a large stainless steel pot.
  2. Add vegetables and cook with low heat, very gently, about 1/2 hour, until they are soft.
  3. Add wine (or water-vinegar / any other substitute) and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the fish carcasses and cover with cold, filtered water. Add vinegar.
  5. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum and impurities as they rise to the top. (I had a hard time skimming off these without also catching the precious ghee on the surface so I decided to leave them be.)
  6. Tie herbs together and add to the pot. (No string? just throw the herbs in!)
  7. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 4 hours or as long as 24 hours.
  8. Remove carcasses with tongs or a slotted spoon and strain the liquid into pint-sized storage containers for refrigerator or freezer.
  9. Chill well in the refrigerator and remove any congealed fat before transferring to the freezer for long-term storage.
IMG_3073
Cooking the veggies gently in ghee.
IMG_3077
Adding the final touch of herbs. As you can see I didn’t skim off the layer of scum. There wasn’t a need to since I just drained the soup before drinking.

Results

The fish broth turned out to be THE MOST DELICIOUS BROTH I’VE EVER MADE! Better than any beef or chicken ones I’ve done previously. I think the main difference was how the recipe called for cooking the vegetables in ghee/butter until soft before adding the carcasses and water.

I tasted the broth at various simmering times and true enough, the longer you simmer, the better the flavour improves. 2 hours wasn’t long enough for the bones to release their gelatinous content as such, the broth was very clear and not that oily, but still quite tasty. I went to bed after that and the next time I tried it was at 12 hours of simmering and I gotta say, it was delicious! The full flavor and goodness of the fish bones were completely integrated into the broth by then and truly, I had the most wonderful, comforting, magical, warm, homely, feel-good feeling in my tummy…. mmmmm…

Also, the longer you simmer, the less you’d want to eat the meat on the fish bones as they would have turned hard, tasteless, meshy and otherwise pretty hard to swallow.

This broth is very versatile. Heat it up and drink it as a comforting soup on rainy days, use it as a base for noodle soup, add some to stir-fry veggies, add it to meat dishes to add flavor, reduce it down to make a sauce and much more. As with all bone broths, regular consumption will benefit you and your family in a myriad of ways from healing intestinal permeability (leaky gut – one of the root causes of autoimmune disorders), to maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, immune system, hormones, detoxification and much more!

Next time I will definitely add a fish head or two to the mix and see how it goes!

Additional Resources and Links: 

  1. Stocks (chapter from Nourishing Traditions)
  2. Broth is Beautiful

Printable Recipe Page

Delicious Fish Bone Broth for Virility

  • Servings: enough to last a week!
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You won't believe how tasty this was until you actually taste it!


Ingredients

  • Snapper carcasses, not sure how many but in total it weighed about 1 kg
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • several sprigs fresh thyme
  • several sprigs chinese parsley (coriander)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • didn’t have white wine on hand so I mixed equal volume water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Cold filtered water (enough to cover all ingredients)
  • 4 x 5ml spoon (or ~1.5 tbsp) of pink himalayan sea salt

Directions

  1. Melt ghee in a large stainless steel pot.
  2. Add vegetables and cook with low heat, very gently, about 1/2 hour, until they are soft.
  3. Add wine (or water-vinegar / any other substitute) and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the fish carcasses and cover with cold, filtered water. Add vinegar.
  5. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum and impurities as they rise to the top. (I had a hard time skimming off these without also catching the precious ghee on the surface so I decided to leave them be.)
  6. Tie herbs together and add to the pot. (No string? just throw the herbs in!)
  7. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 4 hours or as long as 24 hours.
  8. Remove carcasses with tongs or a slotted spoon and strain the liquid into pint-sized storage containers for refrigerator or freezer.
  9. Chill well in the refrigerator and remove any congealed fat before transferring to the freezer for long-term storage.

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2 thoughts on “Delicious Fish Bone Broth for Virility

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