Make Ahead

Fragrant Chinese Broth

March  1, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I first discovered this incredibly aromatic broth while poaching a duck for Martin Yan's Peking Duck recipe from his Chinatown cookbook. The poaching liquid was so delicious, we reused it for hot and sour soup -- incredible! I've since made some adjustments and taken a few suggestions from Fuschia Dunlop's aromatic broth recipe in her cookbook Land of Plenty. I like to use this broth for any Asian soup, even something as simple as wonton or noodle soup. I list the tangerine peel as optional because it can be hard to track down if you don't live near a good Asian grocer. —student epicure

What You'll Need
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 1 large knob ginger, washed, but left unpeeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, like Tellicherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cardamon pods, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, left whole and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 leftover chicken carcass
  1. Secure the star anise, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cardamom, bay leaf, and cinnamon sticks in a piece of cheesecloth tied with string. If you don't have cheesecloth, place the ingredients in a large coffee filter, fold over the open end, and staple close. Place the spice bundle in a 5-quart stock pot, along with the soy sauce, scallions, brown sugar, and chicken. Fill pot with water.
  2. Heat water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer half covered for about 1 hour. Remove spice bundle, scallions, and chicken.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ron
  • AntoniaJames
  • Teri
  • student epicure
    student epicure
student epicure

Recipe by: student epicure


7 Reviews

Ron April 26, 2020
Pretty nice
Simple broth, but good- I was expecting a more black tea & clove aroma, but it ended up tasting more like spiced, roasted chicken drippings. You might get a much more pronounced spice aroma with a broth of chicken breast & some gelatin added, but the murky savorieness is part of the appeal of the dish- makes it taste very dark meaty, like duck.

Two comments-
- it doesnt specify dried or fresh bayleaf, and the one in the pic looks fairly fresh so I used fresh
- the optional tangerine peel isn't listed in the ingredients; I'd like to know the quantity and add it as well

Thank you
Ron April 26, 2020
Oh shoot I forgot to say something- I had to season it significantly to make it a dressing- I'd be curious if there were any seasoning notes that up the soy and brown sugar, or just salinity
Joan B. September 22, 2013
I am making it right now and it smells scrumtous! Loved the idea of the coffee filter in lieu of the cheesecloth! Very clever! Thanks for the great recipe and tip!
AntoniaJames March 7, 2010
How large is a "large knob"? I.e., assuming you have a piece of root that is about one inch in diameter, how long would it be to get the correct amount? Thank you.
student E. March 8, 2010
I would say a good two inches, if you have a piece of ~1 inch diameter. Hope you enjoy it!
Teri March 5, 2010
I made this last night with a carcass that I'd originally stuffed full of fresh fennel fronds and garlic. I put the whole thing in the pot, along with the leftover roasted onion and fennel from the previous meal. Then I followed your recipe (with only tellicherry pepper), added extra salt, and it was so good. I ate the broth for dinner over a little leftover rice. I've never made broth good enough to eat as its own meal. Thanks!
student E. March 8, 2010
Wow - yum! Glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for letting me know! That warms my heart.