Sunday, December 21, 2008

Canh Gà (Vietnamese flavoured Chicken Broth)

After seeing asparagus on sale at the Farmer's Market and experiencing a crazy snowstorm, I thought I could really go for asparagus and crab soup. However, I was without any homemade broth so I stopped by an Asian market and bought chicken bones.

Snowstorm that brought 20 cm of snow. I bet the Californians out there are happy where they are!

Homemade broth seems like a bit of an effort considering you can buy it from a can. I grew up with homemade broth for soups and just can't live without it. In addition, I make a differently flavoured broth for Vietnamese dishes. I just make a big batch and freeze a few portions. Whenever I want to make soups, I just grab it from the freezer. My mom used to make broth with pork bones but switched to chicken. That's what I use now too.

Canh Gà (Vietnamese flavoured Chicken Broth)
Wandering Chopsticks also has a recipe for Vietnamese broth.
Viet World Kitchen has a cheat's recipe to add Vietnamese flavour to canned chicken broth.

* water
* chicken bones (I used 3 carcasses)
* 2 onion, cut in two
* 2 knobs of ginger
* salt
* sugar

Boil water in a big pot that will fit all the bones.
Remove all the fat and skin from the bones to minimize a fatty broth.
Cook the bones in boiling water until the exterior looks cooked, about 5 minutes - this step is just to remove the grime from the blood (ew!).
Take out and rinse the bones.
Add the bones, onion and ginger into a pot.
Cover with water and bring to a boil.
Lower down to a simmer.
Top with water whenever the water gets low.
Cook for 2-3 hours.
Season with salt and sugar to taste - you just need a bit of sugar to balance the taste (if you're not going to use the sweet powder, i.e. MSG!).
Strain the broth.
It's ready to use for soups.
If you decide to freeze it, just remember liquid expands as it freezes so leave a gap in the container.

Removing fat from the bones. I also break the pieces so they fit in a pot.

Cooking the bones before making the broth helps remove all the "gunk".

Cooked broth.

Beautiful clear broth once it is strained.

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