A South American proverb states that good bone broth can resurrect the dead.
It’s a highly nutritious superfood that can be made in as little as 20 minute using minimal ingredients.
Bone broth or more accurately bone stock, has been all the rage the last decade since interest in the paleo diet and similar eating styles has exploded, but broth made from the bones is old hat for some of us and really old hat for others.
Simmering the shells, bones and other parts of fish and other sources has been in practice for thousands of years in China and has been a staple in Asian cuisine for centuries. If you are a fan of Pho, then you have experienced beautifully balanced bone broth.
Aside from being delicious, bone broth made from fish has proven to be an excellent way to use the whole fish. “From skin to fin” is a big theme among us sustainable seafood enthusiasts and something that I plan to talk about more.
My halibut bone broth recipes use simple ingredients to us make a lightly flavored broth that is great as a base for soups and stews or sipped from a mug on a cold day.
If you are new to fish bones, they are particular cuts of fish that are created when a whole fish is filleted – collars, wings, heads and the skeleton are the results of a good fillet.
I buy these from a local vendor for about $2-$3 per pound. I also buy salmon, black cod, sea bass often and prepare them like traditional BBQ ribs. If you can find bones at the market, call your fishmonger and place an order.
The beauty of fish bones is that they contain actual bones and cartilage, which add flavor, and texture due to the collagen contained within. Collagen is often marketed as a “fountain of youth” by some accounts as it can increase skin elasticity and supplements, but the verdict is still out. When I asked my dermatologist about collagen powder and pills, he advised me not to bother
If you absolutely cannot get find fish bones use fish steak and add clam juice to your broth.
2 quarts or 8 cups of water
2 bay leaves
8 black pepper corns
1 pinch of sea salt, more as needed
4 pounds fresh (meaty) halibut bones
1 large leaf of seaweed or kombu
1 garlic clove, peeled, left whole
1 medium white onion, peeled and cut in two
In a stockpot or Dutch oven add the water, the bay leaf, black pepper corns, pinch of sea salt, the fish bones, seaweed garlic and onion and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow the broth to rest for 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt as needed, keeping in mind your final usage – soup, rice, etc.
Over a medium sized bowl, strain the broth through a sieve and set the broth aside. Pick the cooked meat from the bones and add it to a container and store until ready to use.