Chinese Bone Broth with Asian Pears

I’m really trying to get hyped up for Chinese New Year.  Aside from some flowers I brought into the home, CNY lacks its usual red & gold luster, feeling more like the dreary snowy Monday that is New York today.  BUT in an effort to stay true to CNY traditions of 除舊迎新 “out with the old (crap) and in with the good”, I’m going to refrain from talking about the absolute insanity of work in January, my forever cold, and my wistful thoughts of childhood past.

I can’t help it though, because speaking of our forever colds I must share with you what has been getting us through the season – Chinese bone broth.  While this is a big part of growing up, it seems like this ‘remedy’ is catching on especially with the recent special  on the “Today Show” …!  Regardless, my goal really is to secure my own future sickness insurance policy by publishing this recipe for my husband to follow in the event I turn down fried chicken wings – it usually means I’m gravely ill.

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“Bone broth” just sounds so darn grave, it’s really just stock made with animal protein (like chicken stock).  In fact, if marrow bones turn you off for whatever reason, most lean meats would work! The Chinese herbs listed here should be easy to find in any traditional herbal stores, and while these are all considered “neutral” by herbal standards, you should consult an herbalist if you’re pregnant – Fat Boo wrote a great starter guide.  On that note… 新年快乐, 身体健康 (happy new year, wishing you good health!).

Servings: 8 – 10 large bowls

Prep time: 30 – 60 minutes soaking time

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 6 Slices 淮山 Dried Chinese Yams
  • 1/3 cup 枸杞 Goji Berries
  • 1/3 cup 南杏 Chinese sweet almonds (from the South)
  • 1 tablespoon北杏   Chinese bitter almonds (apricot kernels from the North)
  • ¼ cup 龍牙百合 Dried Large Lily Bulb
  • 3 Asian Pears cut into bite size chunks (apples work as well)
  • 2 lbs – 2 1/4 lbs  Marrow bones or Femur Bones (can substitute with bone-in chicken pieces or lean cuts of pork)
  • 2 – 3 quarts of water
  • Salt (to season)

Directions:

  1. Rinse all dry ingredients. Soak goji berries and lily bulbs for 15 – 30 minutes until it’s soft. Soak Chinese Yams for about an hour until softened.
  2. Bring water to boil, add reconstituted and rinsed herbs, fruit to boiling water.
  3. Once water gets boiling again, turn down to medium heat and add bones (or any other animal protein) to the stock.
  4. Simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours until ingredients are well blended.
  5. Scoop out any marrow and discard bones.
  6. Season with a bit of salt. Serve hot and heal.

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