"It was something that my grandmother always made for the whole family," said Grace Nguyen, executive chef at Asian Box. "She would be outside with this gigantic pot cooking this beef pho for like eight hours."
Nguyen says bone broth, once a part of her everyday meal, is now a very hot item at Asian Box.
What is bone broth?
"Lots of aromatics, tons of ginger, onions, scallions just to clarify the broth, some spices like star anise [and] cinnamon, different types of beef bones and we actually throw in a piece of brisket in there too," said Nguyen.
Bone broth is often used in dishes with Vietnamese noodles called pho and Japanese ramen. But due to the popularity of Paleo diet, broth is trending.
Wellness consultant Bizzie Gold says it may be hot now, but it's not a new idea.
"An ancient South American proverb talks about how a good bone broth will raise you from the dead," she said.
At the very least, this broth can ply your body with a host of nutrients.
"The gelatin in the bones, which is what's leached out during the process of cooking for typically over 24 hours, is really great for intestinal health benefits, it gives you a lot of essential amino acids that are typically lacking from a traditional American diet today," said Gold.
It's also said to be great for skin and nails, plus...
"It's really moving everything through your digestive tracks so you can stay healthy and really eliminate toxins from your body," said Gold.
In terms of health, if you're having it in lieu of coffee, it's a caffeine, dairy, and sugar-free way to feel full and stay hydrated. But you do want to watch your sodium and also check the bones. The better the bones, the better the nutrition.
"If you're going to try this at home, go to your local supermarket and ask your butcher for more natural meats -- grass-fed bones, no antibiotics, no hormones fed or anything like that," Nguyen advised.
RECIPE: Asian Box's Beef Pho Broth from Grace Nguyen
3 large yellow onion, unpeeled, cut in half
1/2# fresh ginger, unpeeled, cut lengthwise
1/2# whole carrots cut each into 4 pieces
10 beef bones: beef neck bones, shank bones, marrow bones
1 oz cinnamon sticks
1 oz whole star anise pod
1/2 oz whole clove
1/2 cups fish sauce
2 oz Brown sugar (weight on scale)
1/2 cup Kosher salt
5 beef brisket, whole
- Prep onions, ginger and carrots.
- Put onions, ginger and carrots on to a sheet pan, roast on oven at 375 for 20 minutes (keep onions face down).
- Put cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise pod on a sheet pan and roast for 5 minutes.
- In a large 16-quart stockpot, add beef bones and fill the pot with 2 gallons of cold water.
- Open the package of brisket and rinse under water, pat dry and drop brisket in broth.
- Bring the pot to a boil. Set the timer for 3 hours, then turn down the heat to medium low heat.
- Add roasted vegetables and spices to the pot.
- Every hour, skim as much fat and scum as possible.
- After 3 hours, pull the pot off the stove, pull out the brisket, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill to below 40 degrees. When fully chilled, trim off fat (leave only 1-cm of the fat on) slice 1/8-inch thick.
- Season the broth with fish sauce, sugar and salt.
- Strain broth through a chinois and discard the bones. Chill in an ice bath till below 40 degrees.