Home Cooking: Nutrient-Rich Chinese Herbal Bone Broth Recipe

by Stephanie Hannington-Suen

This Chinese herbal soup is a favourite of mine. Growing up, it was a weekly staple in our household and I’ve continued on with the tradition in my home. Brewing this soup has become a weekly ritual for me, thanks to its simplicity and the health benefits it offers.

Known as Qing Bu Liang (清补凉), which literally translates to "clear cooling and energy filling," this soup is incredibly nourishing, especially in the cold winter months. I'm fortunate to receive the dried ingredients directly from my mum and her herbal clinic, but you can easily find pre-packaged versions in your local Chinese supermarket. We use pork bones rather than chicken or any other red meat as pork is considered a yin food in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

450g of pork ribs
1 1/2 litres Water
6 slices Ginger
1/4 tsp White pepper
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine 
1 bag of Chinese herbs:
连子 lotus seed
百合 lily bulb
山药 chinese yam
玉竹 polygonatum odoratum
芡实 prickly water lily
杞子 goji berries
意米 chinese pearl barley
生地 rehmanniae root - not steamed
熟地 rehmanniae root - steamed
Salt to taste

Clean the pork ribs by placing in a large pot and pour boiling water over the top. Give it a mix and then pour away the excess water.
Once pork is cleaned, place all the ingredients in the pot. Fill with cold water.
Bring to the boil, as it boils remove the grey impurities of the pork. This is to create a clear broth.
Once boiled, lower the heat and allow everything to simmer for no more than 2 hours.
Once cooked, serve and always enjoy hot/warm. 

To turn this into a complete meal, I love to pick the pork ribs out and pair them with pak choi and steamed brown rice with a splash of soya sauce. I then enjoy the remaining broth throughout the week.