My Week Of Broth
Disclosure: I was gifted broth by Borough Broth Co
We sure do have it easy these days in the age of ready meals, food delivery apps and granulated stock cubes. While I do (unashamedly and gratefully) use all of these on a regularly basis, I fully appreciate the importance of dedicating time to cook meals from scratch.
I was diagnosed with ischaemic colitis when I was 11 years old. It was painful and stressful and all a bit of a blur now. The things I remember most vividly: my mum sleeping on a fold-up bed next to mine in hospital; staying up late one night to watch Ghost with a kind nurse and another girl in the children’s ward; and giving up solid food. To let my intestines reset, all I was allowed to eat/drink were Polo mints, 7 Up, water and a horrid grey drink that was fortified with the nutrients I was missing out on. Over a few weeks, my weight dropped to 30kg and all I could think about were crisps and fried chicken.
Honestly I think that childhood experience is why I’ve vehemently refused to engage in any form of restrictive diet. After that one serious bout, I was able to reintroduce solid food like a baby – starting with broth and congee – and I’m so lucky to have never suffered any digestive issues since. Now I can (and do) eat everything. I over-indulge. I still sleep well. I’m very much aware I take my gut health for granted, so that’s why I will put in the extra hours to cook from scratch if life permits.
I’ve been a fan of Borough Broth Co for years so, when they got in touch to collaborate, there was no hesitation. They generously gifted me with their whole range of bone broths – beef, chicken, lamb, fish and pho. Faced with a world of possible recipes, it was hard to know where to begin. I toyed with making a New Orleans-style gumbo or a Scotch broth, but eventually settled on what I know best and crave most… Asian soups. Korean kimchi jjigae (stew), Thai green fish curry, and Chinese yangrou paomo (a lamb and flatbread dish from the Muslim population in Xi’an).
Kimchi Jjigae (4 portions)250g pork belly
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 cup kimchi
1 tbsp Gochujang pepper paste
2 x 324g packets Organic Chicken Bone Broth
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp kimchi juice
150g firm tofu
Slice the pork belly into 1cm thick bitesize chunks and marinade in a drizzle of Chinese rice wine for 15 minutes. Add the pork belly, chopped kimchi, red pepper paste and chicken broth into a saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer on a medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Slice the tofu into bitesize pieces and add to the stew, pushing down to ensure the tofu soaks up the stew. After a few minutes, add the sugar and a little juice retained from the fermented kimchi, then switch the heat off. Serve the kimchi jjigae over a bowl of white rice with a garnish of spring onion.
Green Fish Curry (4 portions)2 tbsp green Thai curry paste
2 x 324g packets Wild Fish Bone Broth
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 red chilli, sliced
250g cod loin
1 cup frozen edamame beans
1 cup frozen petit pois
2 cups frozen king prawns
3 cups spinach
Fry the curry paste for a minute then add the fish broth and coconut milk. Bring to the boil then add fish sauce, the juice of 2 limes and red chilli. Cut the cod into bitesize chunks. Add the cod to the curry along with the frozen soy beans, petit pois and king prawns. When the cod is cooked through and the prawns are pink, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach. Serve over white rice.
Yangrou Paomo (1 portion)1 x 324g packet Organic Lamb Bone Broth
1 tbsp cumin
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
80g rice vermicelli noodles
Spring onion, sliced
Add the lamb broth, cumin, salt, pepper, grated ginger and soy sauce to a saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Keep piping hot until ready to serve. Use your fingers to tear the pita bread into small 1cm chunks and place in the base of a noodle bowl. Add a nest of rice vermicelli noodles and pour the piping hot broth over the contents of the bowl. Leave for 3 minutes to allow the noodles to soften and the pita to soak up the soup. Garnish with spring onion and fresh coriander.
Thanks to Borough Broth Co who take out the most time-consuming part of the process, all of these recipes take under 30 minutes and I can still enjoy the full health benefits. Furthermore, these soups are full of flavour and have a richness that I could never achieve using stock cubes. Whether you have the time to make your own bone broth or use Borough Broth Co, give these recipes a try. Enjoy!