Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Four-Beans Pork Bone Broth 猪骨四豆汤 (bone "healing" part 2)

Ever since adapting to a mainly vegetable-seafood (and chicken) diet at home (I still eat pork and beef when I dine out), this is the FIRST time I open my kitchen to pork as I had to find alternatives when my nearest Whole Foods Market ran out of chicken backs!

Pork bones to the rescue!

Since it is mainly the marrow and minerals that was to be extracted from the bones, I was also generally more receptive to cooking this pork bone broth soup at home. It's just the bones, not much meat involved. Pig trotters is another option with its bounty of gelatin but once again - I can only do basic prep. work in the kitchen, so that option was out.

To make up for the protein and fiber, a variety of beans was used in this broth. This Four-Beans Pork Bone Broth Soup uses black-eyed beans, northern beans, peruano beans and soy beans (all the dried beans were soaked overnight, then rinsed before using). Also added were ginger and onions, some coarsely ground black pepper for taste.

Set the pork bones to boil with ginger and after it has boiled for about 10 minutes, remove the scum at the broth surface, add the onions and beans and allow it to come to a boil again. Then turn down the heat and simmer for at least three hours for the pork bones to break down and for the beans to cook and become tender (Note: You can blanch the pork bones first if you wish. The reason for me skipping the blanching step is due to the simplification I need while my arm was injured and limited me in most kitchen prep. work).

Down but not out, I did not want to succumb to instant calcium, collagen, gelatin commercial powders and capsules, so a homemade bone broth is able to provide a much more nutritious range of gelatin, minerals and amino acids.

Do you know that there are at least 15 types of collagen, making up about 25% of all the protein in the body. It is present in bones, ligaments, tendons and skin (type I collagen), in cartilage (type II collagen), and in bone marrow and lymph (type III collagen). The word collagen also comes from the root "kola", meaning glue. Collagen is helpful in soft tissue and wound healing; formation and repair of cartilage and bones.

Sharing this Four-Beans Pork Bone Broth with Souper Sunday

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