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Charred Onion Broth

Charred Onion Broth
Silvia Razgova / For The Times

Charred onion and spices give this quick-cooking broth the complexity of long-simmered pho soup. Kombu adds a seafood depth, and you can accentuate it by adding fish bones at the very end and letting them poach for a minute or ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Makes about 2 quarts
Note: Make ahead: The broth can be stored in airtight containers and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months . Return to a simmer before using.
  • 1 quart homemade or unsalted store-bought chicken broth
  • 1 yellow or brown onion, halved with skin on
  • 1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, scrubbed and smashed
  • 1 sheet kombu, rinsed
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)

Step 1Bring the broth and 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. While the broth is coming to a boil, turn another burner to medium-high if using a gas stove (if using an electric or induction stovetop, heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat). Put the onion directly on the grate over a gas flame or in the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until evenly charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to the broth.

Step 2Once the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Add the ginger, kombu, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and saffron. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan or into airtight containers to store until ready to use.

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