Simple Bone Broth Recipe

(This blog post is not vegetarian friendly. Veggie/vegan recipes coming soon!)

Bone broth is all the rage now, with everyone from professional athletes to those on paleo diets raving about its health boosting abilities.

Did you know that bone broth is also a staple of Chinese Medicine? The minerals, collagen, and other nutrients in bone broth – derived from slowly breaking down bone, marrow, and cartilage – are fantastic for supporting our own bones and tendons. Especially as the weather gets colder, bone broth is also a nutritious way to support our immune system. In Chinese Medicine, we say that bone broth nourishes our “kidneys”. This is just another way to describe its bone and immune boosting properties.

Here is a simple recipe for bone broth that can be modified in many ways to support your own health.


  • 2 lb beef bones, preferably including some thighbones and knuckles from pasture-raised cows (in the Bay Area, farmers markets often have vendors who supply great quality beef and pork bones). You can substitute high quality chicken bones and fish as well.
  • vegetable scraps from the week
  • eggshells from the week
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (can be apple cider vinegar)
  • herbs and spices: salt, pepper, Chinese herbs

Other than the bones, the rest of the broth ingredients are really to taste. I make stock with Chinese medicinal herbs based on the season and my constitution. To find out which Chinese herbs would be right for you, come in for a herbal consultation.

On Stove

  1. Place bones in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Fill large pot with water (about 4/5). Add all the ingredients and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer for at least 8 hours. In the first few hours, skim the foam that floats to the top.
    • Beef bones, simmer for 12-24 hours
    • Chicken bones, simmer for 8-12 hours
    • Fish bones, simmer for 6-8 hours
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain to remove bones, eggshells, vegetables, and herbs.
  5. Store in glass containers or even ice cube trays (this allows you to take a few cubes out at a time to cook with).

Crockpot Modifications

  1. Place bones in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Make sure the ingredients will all fit in the crockpot with plenty of room to spare.
  3. Add water until ingredients are completely covered.
  4. Cook on low for 12-24 hours.

You can drink bone broth by itself but my recommendation is to use it as an ingredient to cook with. Use it as a stock for soups. Add a little bit to your stir fry or even to your rice. It’s easy to digest and so very good for your health!

Bone Broth