Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:57:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Slow Cooker Bone Broth – Asian Style Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:23:46 +0000 In Asian culture, soups and broths are part of everyday meals. A traditional Japanese breakfast would include a bowl of Miso Soup to warm the body. Chinese restaurants feature a long list of house soups, from an appetite stimulating Hot and Sour Soup to even a light broth served after dinner to cleanse the palate and complete the meal. Growing up, Mom ...

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Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian

In Asian culture, soups and broths are part of everyday meals. A traditional Japanese breakfast would include a bowl of Miso Soup to warm the body. Chinese restaurants feature a long list of house soups, from an appetite stimulating Hot and Sour Soup to even a light broth served after dinner to cleanse the palate and complete the meal.

Growing up, Mom always had soup simmering on the stove. Every night, without doubt, there was a Chinese style soup on the table. I remember saving the soup for last, as a ritual to conclude a delightful home-cooked meal.

I’ve tried to emulate Mom, but we’ve got such an active lifestyle that a pot simmering for hours on the stove isn’t feasible. Instead, we use a large 6-quart slow cooker to make an Asian-style bone broth that will last the entire week for our family.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian

What is bone broth?

Bone broth is often gently simmered for 24 hours (or more!) to extract as much nutrients from the bones of an animal, whether it be fish, chicken, pork or beef. The long cooking time breaks down bone to release vitamins, collagen and calcium phosphate — nutrients that are good for us.

Sure, it’s a trendy thing right now, with restaurants offering drive-through bone broth served in a coffee cup for $9, cookbooks dedicated to the art of bone broths (I highly recommend The Nourished Kitchen Cookbook which features bone broth) and even an entire line of bone broth concentrates that you can buy.

What’s the difference between broth, bone broth and soups?

Generally, soups are made with meats, bones, vegetables, herbs, added grains, sometimes thickened with starches – and simmered for a couple of hours.

Broths are mostly made from meats or vegetables and left clear without very much else added. Broths are also simmered for a couple of hours, resulting in a light colored, light flavored broth.

Bone broths are cooked for a day or even longer. Your favorite Vietnamese restaurant most likely simmer their pho broth overnight, which is why the broth is so rich and flavorful.

The long cooking time extracts so many nutrients and flavor! How do you know when you’ve extracted maximum nutrients and flavor? When the bones literally disintegrate just by giving a little pressure with your fingers.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe Asian Style

Like Nourished Kitchen, we make our bone broth in the slow cooker, and it will last us all week long. The process starts on Sunday night, and the slow cooker will do its magic all night long.

In the morning, we’ll enjoy bone broth as part of our breakfast. Every day, I’ll top off the pot with more water and keep the slow cooker humming along.

Each day, I’ll add a vegetable, switch out for fresh herbs, throw in a couple of umami-boosting Asian ingredients.

As the days progress, the bone broth develops new flavor, gets richer, smoother, fuller. We get the benefit of the valuable nutrition that’s normally locked inside the bones.

Some days, we’ll top off the bone broth with chopped herbs, or shredded seaweed just before serving. Or a spoonful of leftover rice in the bone broth is great too.

Secrets to Clear, Clean Bone Broth

Key to bone broth – be gentle. The cooking process is slow and gentle, coaxing out flavor with very little bubbles (no violent boiling!)

Don’t stir. Especially after the first 2 days. The bones will be come very soft and will crumble if you stir the pot too vigorously, resulting in a gritty broth.

Use cheesecloth or herb/tea bags to contain any herbs, aromatics or spices that are very small (see below.) This avoids having you dig around, stir around to fish these items out.

Use a very fine mesh skimmer to skim the surface of the broth every day, especially during the first 6-8 hours. The “scum” will cloud your broth during these first few hours of cooking. What’s the scum made out of? Proteins, fats, microscopic bone fragments (especially if the bones were cut), oils, impurities. Get rid of it!

Ready for the next batch? Jumpstart your next batch with a little of the last batch of concentrated “liquid gold!” We call this “Infinite Bone Broth.” Restaurants do the same with broths, sauces and sourdough bread too. Seed the next batch with rich flavor you’ve already built.

Bone Broth, Chinese Style

The “holy trinity” of Chinese cooking is garlic, ginger and green onion.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Garlic, Ginger & Green Onion

I’m not a fan of fishing out little pieces of ingredients, so I try to cut herbs so that they are easy to find and spoon out. The garlic head is cut in half. Sometimes, the cloves will separate (like above) but I’ll use a bag made for for DIY teabags or as an herb pouch (100 bags for $5.67)

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian DIY Herb Pouch

Fill it up with the garlic cloves that are loose. Fold the top over and the cloves or anything you put inside will stay put. You can also make your own with cheesecloth. I like to use these teabags for other spices too, like whole peppercorns or star anise – anything that would be hard to find and fish out.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Fill Herb Pouch with loose garlic cloves

The green onions are tied with twine, again for easy removal. The ginger is a big hunk, just sliced in half.  I reserve the other half of the ginger + the garlic cloves in the bag + more green onion  – to add to the bone broth a couple of days later (I’ll discard the spent herbs/aromatics, replace with fresh.)

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Tie green onions with twine and slice ginger in half

This week, I’m making bone broth with spareribs (it was on sale). Pork broth is very popular in Chinese cuisine. It’s just as popular as chicken broth is here in the U.S. Most of the Chinese soups that I make start with pork – for a lighter, more neutral flavor than beef or chicken.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Spareribs for bone broth

Some people like to cut off the excess fat, but I just leave it on. I’ll skim out the fats and oils later with a skimmer.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Everything goes into the slow cooker

Everything goes into the slow cooker, set it on low and let it go. If you plan on making slow cooker bone broth often, I suggest getting the largest slow cooker you can find. This one is a Cuisinart 6 1/2 Quart Slow Cooker ($99) that works really well. It’s never failed us.

After a few hours, I’ll skim the scuzz with a very fine mesh skimmer. This skimmer mesh is so fine that it catches all particles AND surface oils and fats.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian skim skuzz with very fine mesh skimmer

Look how rich this bone broth is the next day! Season with salt, or fish sauce. Season to taste.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian

I’ll discard the spent green onion, garlic and ginger, and add fresh to replace. This time, I’m adding garlic chives and cilantro from the garden – again, tied  up to make it easier to remove.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian discard spent herbs and add garlic chives and cilantro

Top it off with fresh water. The slow cooker stays on all week, on low.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian top off with fresh water

Chinese Bone Broth

After a couple of days, I might throw in some Chinese dried ingredients for a massive flavor and umami-boost:

Dried scallops, dried shrimp or dried black mushrooms (shitake).

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian dried scallops, dried shrimp and black mushrooms

You can also add in sliced daikon and carrots for one of my very favorite home-style soups! Every trip back to my Mom’s house, I request her Daikon Carrot soup.

If you like cilantro, you can also add in a bunch of cilantro stems, which have just as much flavor as the leaves. I often use the stems for soups.

Japanese Bone Broth

If you’d like Japanese flavor for a bone broth, add a small 6-inch piece of dried kombu and a handful of bonito flakes (place these in the tea bag.) By the way, kombu can be used over, and over again. Just rinse, wipe, and let dry completely before storing for next use.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian dried kombu and bonito flakes

My favorite breakfast? Bone broth with a spoonful of leftover rice or grains, top with roasted seaweed. This type of seaweed is called Kizame Nori – or sliced, roasted seaweed.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian with a spoonful of leftover rice or grains and roasted seaweed

By the way, have you ever tried Ochazuke?

Also, if you’d like to fortify the Japanese bone broth with miso paste – do this separately. Miso paste cooked at high heat or for too long will break apart and become gritty. Ladle some bone broth into a separate saucepan. Bring to simmer if you need to, but if it’s coming straight from the slow cooker, there’s no need to heat it up. Turn off heat. Whisk just a couple tablespoons of miso paste into the soup. Be careful of how much miso you add, especially if you’ve already added salt to the bone broth. I prefer shiro miso (white miso paste) as it’s lighter and less salty than the others. Miso paste is always added off heat.

Vietnamese Bone Broth

Add Vietnamese pho spices to a mesh bag or the tea bag (Here’s a recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pho.)

If you visit an Asian market, you can often find all these spices packaged, ready to go. Look for “Pho Spice Pack.” Instead of seasoning the broth with salt, season the bone broth with fish sauce. Start with 1 tablespoon, taste, and then add 1 teaspoon at a time until perfect.

What’s my favorite fish sauce? Right there in the sidebar is a free “Asian Masters of Flavor” ebook I wrote that includes my favorite brand! There’s a big difference between good quality fish sauce and crap, chemical-laden fish sauce.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Vietnamese Bone Broth Spices

More notes

If you’re concerned with the cost of running a slow cooker throughout the week, it costs pennies per day!

We grow all of our own herbs and most of our own vegetables in our aquaponics garden and greenhouse. Here’s a tip for green onion.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Our aquaphonics garden

You can even start with store-bought green onion. Make sure you buy ones that have nice, wet, strong roots (no dry or wilted!) Just stick’em in soil. The green onions will continue to grow their roots and sprout more leaves. I just snip off what I need (leafy part only) and new ones will continue to grow throughout the entire growing season!

Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian grow your own green onion

Recommended Cooking Equipment

More recipes to explore

Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker – Paleo Friendly  (Steam Kitchen)

Mom’s Chinese Chicken Soup  (Steam Kitchen)

Vegetable Thai Curry Noodle Soup  (Steam Kitchen)

Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup  (Steam Kitchen)

Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup  (Steam Kitchen)

15 Minute Udon Miso Noodle Soup  (Steam Kitchen)

Thai Fish Soup  (Steam Kitchen)

Soba Noodles in Shiitake-Shoyu Broth with Spring Vegetables (Serious Eats)

Spicy Korean Seafood Soup (Serious Eats)


Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe - Asian Style

Servings: Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time:

I prefer using pork or chicken for Chinese or Japanese style bone broth. If you'd like to use beef bones (great for Vietnamese bone broth), I suggest roasting the bones (350F for 30 minutes) first before adding them to your slow cooker. Not necessary, but it will give a richer bone broth. I don't normally roast pork or chicken bones - I just add them to the pot. Grassfed, organic is best.

PORK: spareribs, neck, hock, really anything.

CHICKEN: whole, raw chicken, or just the frame of a rotisserie chicken you've already enjoyed. You can also use chicken wings or chicken feet. Turkey works great too.

BEEF: oxtail, knuckle, neck, short ribs. I also use beef bone marrow as well - but after roasting, I"ll spoon out the marrow, spread it on bread and sprinkle with sea salt for a little treat. Basically, too much marrow in the bone broth will make the broth greasy tasting. Short ribs have amazing flavor - I like to add them to any beef bone broth that I make.

FISH: Fish bones and head. I like to do this traditional Chinese style with garlic, lots of ginger and green onion. Remove the fish skin and the thin, silvery lining in the gut area (very fishy taste). If the fish is raw, I prefer to roast the fish bones (350F for 20 minutes) - as this tames the fishiness smell and flavor of the bone broth. Most fish will work except for oily fish like mackerel.


4 pounds spareribs
1 head garlic, halved
big knob of fresh ginger (about the size of 2 fingers), halved
3-4 stalks green onions, cut in half


1. Reserve half of the garlic, ginger and green onion for later in the week. Tie the green onion bundles with twine.

2. In a slow-cooker, add green onion, garlic and ginger. Fill slow cooker with water, up to 1-inch below rim. Set to cook on high heat at first. When the bone broth comes to a simmer after an hour or so, you'll see lots of scum. Skim and discard. Set slow cooker on low and let the bone broth cook for at least 6 hours.

3. Use a skimmer to skim the surface of any particles and oil. Season with salt, to taste.

4. After drinking some of the bone broth, top off the slow cooker with additional fresh water. You can also discard the spent herbs and add the reserved garlic, onion and green onion. Continue to add additional vegetables, aromatics, dried ingredients (see post above for details) as you wish. Keep the setting on low.

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Matsutake Mushroom Dobin Mushi Recipe Mon, 12 Oct 2009 04:03:01 +0000 One of my favorite cooking shows of all time is the original Iron Chef. No, not the modern version that plays over and over on Food Network right now, but the one taped in Japan with the silly English dubbing that always cracks me up. The episode that I drooled most over was “Battle Matsutake.” Matsutake Tempura?! Oh hello lover! ...

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One of my favorite cooking shows of all time is the original Iron Chef. No, not the modern version that plays over and over on Food Network right now, but the one taped in Japan with the silly English dubbing that always cracks me up. The episode that I drooled most over was “Battle Matsutake.” Matsutake Tempura?! Oh hello lover!

So since that episode, I’ve been pining for Matsutake mushrooms. I kept hearing that in Japan, it’s a seasonal, rare, expensive thing….so I just sorta passed it up as, “okay, one day…” type of food.

And a couple of weeks ago I found out that Matsutake mushrooms are harvested here in the Pacific Northwest (okay, not really “here” as I’m in Florida, but I mean here as in American soil!) and this year is one of abundance. My good friend Dave from Earthy sent me an email when they first started arriving, and I almost canceled the rest of my travel plans to come home so I could play with the ‘shrooms.

But how to cook?

Marc of No Recipes and Stephan of Zen Can Cook came to the rescue with ideas and recipes. I had dinner with both of them a few months ago in NYC, but we don’t have a photo to prove it.

Because we were too damn busy eating, laughing and stuffing our faces at dinner. Oh and drinking lots too. No wonder!

So, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a few Matsutake mushrooms, remember to keep the recipe simple. The mushroom is so fragrant and earthy that you don’t want manipulate it too much. Keep it simple, with few good quality ingredients and enjoy its natural aroma and taste.

What is Matsutake Mushroom?

Fall is the season of Matsutake mushrooms. In Japan, it’s a highly prized mushroom, perfect specimens selling for as much as $250 for 6 small Matsutake mushrooms! I compare it to truffles – the Matsutake has a penetrating, deep earthy aroma. It’s texture is thick, meaty and hearty.

Matsu = pine
Take = mushroom

The Matsutake grows only under pine trees, and I’ve heard that the never grow in the same place twice. How frustrating for mushroom hunters, eh? American Matsutake is a little different from the Japanese species, but just as fragrant and delicious.

Hsiao-Ching Chou wrote, “In that regard, the matsutake resembles the truffle, which lends its perfume to any preparation it encounters. A broth with several slices of a pine mushroom would be served in a lidded bowl or pot, for example, so that the scent of earthy pine with a tinge of cinnamon swirls within the container until it is finally released.”

Hurry! Matsutake mushrooms are only available September through November!

How to make Matsutake Dobin Mushi

First, clean your mushroom with a damp cloth, wiping off as much dirt as possible. Cut off the tough bottom nub of the mushroom. Use a paring knife, turn the knife around so that you’re using the upper dull edge, and scrape off the thin outer layer on the stem.


Cleaned mushrooms and trimmed stems


We’ll be making dashi broth from scratch. You’ll need 3 ingredients to make dashi – water, bonito flakes and dried kelp.

To make dashi, use large bonito flakes or katsuobushi. They come in a big package at the Asian market. Look for the big flakes. The little flakes are for garnishing. Big flakes should be the size of a cornflake.


Look how beautiful these bonito fish flakes are! So light, airy, flakey. Don’t sneeze.


You’ll also need a 6-inch piece of dried kelp (seaweed) or kombu for dashi:


They usually come long, folded and then dried. You’ll only need 6-inches and just a single layer, so break it apart.


Do not soak the kelp or even rinse it. Just take a damp cloth and wipe it down to clean any dirt off the seaweed. Add the kelp to water and turn the heat to medium-low.


Just before it comes to a boil, add two big handfuls of bonito flakes, stir and turn off the heat immediately.


Then strain.


The kombu is still good! Don’t throw it away….


Just rinse and pat dry. Let dry on your counter top and then when the kelp is completely dry, store back in your pantry. You can reuse.


Now it’s time to make the dobin mushi. Ladle the strained dashi into a teapot.


Next, add the ingredients. Today, I had sliced fish, sliced carrots and sliced Matsutake mushrooms. I have also make dobin mushi with chicken, shrimp and ginko nuts. What you add to your dobin mushi is up to you. Below, I have a list of links to dobin mushi recipes that you can look at.


Place all ingredients into the teapot. Also add Japanese sake, a touch of soy sauce and just a sliver of lime peel.


Dobin mushi is steamed, not boiled directly on a flame. I have a wok here and have inserted a steamer stand. Bring water to a boil.


Place the teapot on the steamer rack.


Cover with lid.


Steam for 8 minutes.

Pour the aromatic broth into a teacup.


And then enjoy the goodies inside the pot.


Treasure hunting!


Matsutake Mushroom Dobin Mushi Recipe

If you don’t have a wok or a tea pot, you can use a large, wide stockpot (or dutch oven) and ramekins for steaming the dobin mushi. Divide the ingredients between the ramekins. Cover with a parchment circle (or tin foil) and steam in your large pot. If you don’t have a steamer rack, you can use a shallow bowl, turned upside down or a few inverted shot glasses.

This dish is all about the mushroom. Keep the ingredients simple and light to showcase the Matsutake! Matsutake mushrooms provided by

serves 2 as part of multi-course meal

For the dashi
4 cups water
6-inch piece kombu or kelp
2 handfuls of katsuobushi or bonito flakes (about 2 cups loosely packed)

For the dobin mushi
2 matsutake mushrooms, sliced (about 2 ounces)
few thinly sliced white fish (about 2 ounces)
few very thin slices carrots (about 1/4 carrot)
1 tablespoon good quality sake
1 tablespoon good quality Japanese soy sauce

1. Make the dashi: Place the kelp into a pot with the water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low. When the water starts quivering, remove the kelp, add in the bonito flakes, stir and turn off the heat. (Do not let boil) Let sit until bonito flakes sink to the bottom. Strain (don’t squeeze the bonito flakes) and reserve the dashi stock.

2. Clean the Matsutake mushrooms by using a damp terry cloth to wipe the dirt off the mushrooms. Use the back of a paring knife to scrape the thin, outer layer of the stem off. Cut the tough bottom of the mushroom off and discard. Ladle the dashi into your teapot, add in the remaining ingredients.

3. Prepare your steamer as shown in the photos or directions above. Cover and steam for 7 minutes (longer if you are using chicken) on medium-low heat. Serve immediately.

More Matsutake

Matsutake Mushrooms from

Fantastic Forage

A Recipe to Savor the Autumn: Kinoko Dobin Mushi

Matsutake Dobin Mushi Recipe

Mad About Matsutake

Introduction to Matsutake

Wild about Matsutake

Hunting for Matsutake Mushrooms



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