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Old 08-05-2005, 05:32 PM   #1
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Question Misc. Soup Chat

I've always wondered this, so am now posting to see what feedback you guys and gals can provide...

As I've watched cooking shows and read cookbooks, etc. I've learned that when you are making stock or some sort of clear broth soup, that you should add the water and bones in the pot and then put it on the stove to bring to a boil. This is supposed to be the best way to bring out the natural sweetness of the bones into the liquid. --Correct me if I'm wrong in any of this--

In Asian cooking, we tend to put the bones into a pot bring it to a high boil and let it boil for several minutes, then take it out, dump out the bones and water. Then I rinse the bones and add them back into a pot with water. I do this for my pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and also any of my other noodle based soups (i.e. wonton noodle soup). My soup turns out very good. I have always wonder why the difference in approach...I was taught by older family members to do this because it would be the best way to get the scum out of your soup and have it look nice and clear. Thoughts?

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Old 08-05-2005, 05:40 PM   #2
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That IS cool. I never realized there was a difference. If I am not mistaken, the scum happens only when you use raw ingredients. If you are making soup from say a chicken carcass that you roasted there is no scum.

When I use raw ingredients, I boil on high for a few minutes and then I skim any scum off the soup. I do that a couple of time and then turn the heat down to low and let it all simmer for a long time.

I have been told that this is to get the most from the bones. Calcium etc.
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:06 PM   #3
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Since culinary school, I've always done it the traditional French way of making a stock or consomme. If I need to clarify it I just make a raft using egg whites.

The only Asian-based stock that I really use a lot of is dashi. I love pho but I'd rather go to a restaurant and eat it because I don't want to have to deal with all the prep.
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:14 PM   #4
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Ironchef, what is the egg white process? I've never heard of this... sounds interesting.
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:30 PM   #5
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Plagiarized for your viewing pleasure.

A consommé, like many other soups, begins with a stock. In a separate container (ideally a food processor), ground lean meat, vegetables, and egg whites are mixed to form what is professionally referred to as a clarification or raft. This rather unappetizing mass is responsible for the success of your consommé. It needs to be first completely mixed into the cold stock. This murky liquid is then placed on a moderately hot burner and slowly brought to a boil. It is important to periodically stir the bottom of the pot to insure that part of the raft does not stick to the bottom and burn (which ruins the consommé). As the liquid heats up, the "raft" will start to coagulate which means that it will start to come together and slowly rise to the surface. Once the raft begins to form and rise, it is imperative that it is not stirred as this could break the raft which could then in turn ruin the consommé. Once the consommé comes to a bare light boil, reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the quality of the stock you start with. Let me explain why this murky raft creates such a perfectly clear soup. As the raft comes together and rises, it cleans up the stock by trapping all the impurities in it. Basically, convection currents in the simmering pot carry particles upward to cling to the bottom of the raft. Once the stock has come to a boil and the raft has risen to the surface, the soup should already be perfectly clear.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:24 PM   #6
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I just pour my stock through a coffee filter lined sieve. It comes out clear. But, I don't make consomme.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:58 PM   #7
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Thank you ironchef. I am going to try this one.
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:21 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info IC, I may get the courage to try this soon.
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