This winter I’ve been making broth almost every week.  I’ve found that always having a fresh pot of stock in the fridge means that putting together a decent meal for the family is never too daunting a task.  We’ve been having variations on ramen or pho several times a week in this house, and no one has complained yet.  Here’s what I do.

Make the stock: 

  1. Roast 2 bags of pork bones or chicken frames along with 1 bag of chicken feet in the oven at 375° until browned.  No need to thaw before roasting. 
  2. Once browned, put the bones in a pot, cover with water, add any veggie scraps you have (carrot ends, onion skins, garlic stems, etc.), and simmer in a pot for 8-24 hrs. Sometimes I also add star anise, ginger, cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks!
  3. Strain broth and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Make an Asian-inspired soup: 

  1. Start warming the broth, and add seasonings of your choice.  I like salt, soy sauce, fish sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ginger, and toasted sesame oil. 
  2. If you like veggies, thinly slice some cabbage, radishes or carrots and add to the broth to soften.  These days I usually keep it simple and just add home-sprouted mung beans.
  3. If you’d like some protein, prepare some pork meatballs or soft-boiled eggs to add to each bowl, or marinade thinly sliced beef steak in soy sauce and vinegar and cook in the broth before serving.  I’ve also found almost any leftover meat from another meal will taste great added to the broth and noodles.
  4. Prepare noodles in a separate pot.  Those organic ramen noodles from Costco are very convenient, but any Asian-style noodle will do.
  5. Add noodles to bowls, and pour the broth over the noodles.  Garnish with ferments, seaweed, fresh herbs, or nothing at all.

And you’re done!  Kids love it, grownups love it, and it’s ready in 30 minutes or less!