Category Archives: Soup Stock

Japanese Gastronomy: Chicken Bones Soup Stock: Tori Gara Soup-Basic Recipe

Quite a few friends, especially the ones who like ramen and any soup staock, have been asking me to re-pi\ublish the basic recipe for a very popular soup stock: Chicken Bones Soup Stock or Tori Gara Soup in Japanese!

It is called “Tori-gara soup”/鶏がらスープ in Japanese, as it means “Chicken carcass soup”.

The following recipe is basic and can be expanded and amended at will. It has also the merit to be useful for any kind of gastronomy, be it Asian, American, European, or African soups or sauces!

INGREDIENTS: As for quantities, do experiment!

-Chicken carcass and bones
-Long leeks
-Ginger (fresh if possible)
-Laurel (fried leaves)
-Black pepper (coarsely ground)
-Japanese sake (if you don’t have any, white wine should be ok)
-Fruit (apples are best)
Soy sauce


Chicken carcass:
This is cheap and can be bought whole, unless you buy a whole chicken, dress it for another recipe and keep the bones and carcass. The latter can be deep-frozen, so don’t throw them away!

Break the bones roughly as the soup ingredients come from their insides. Clean then in running cold water. Drain them and leave them exposed in a recipient in the refrigerator for a whole night.

You will need a large pot to make your soup.
Use long leeks of the variety above if you can get them. Actually any leeks should do. Cut them in practical pieces.

If possible get it fresh. If slightly dried up as found in Asian markets abroad, no problem.
A piece 5×5 cm (2×2 inches) should be enough.
Peel it and cut into rough slices.

Use it as fresh as possible.
Take out their core out as it is almost indigestible.
One clove should be enough. Slice it roughly after crushing it.

2 dried leaves are enough.

Black pepper:
Grind it over the soup. Quantity is much up to preferences.

Japanese sake:
Use real sake or cooking sake.
You definitely need it.
If unavailable, use dry white wine.

Soy sauce:
Here too, quantity is much up to your preferences.

Fruit will provide you the right balance.
Apples are best.
Cut them in small pieces beforehand.

Fill the pan with water.
Drop in the whole carcass and bones.
Bring to boil.
Switch off fire.
Throw all the water away and refill with clean water. This is an important point. It might be troublesome, but if you don’t proceed accordingly the soup will be a failure!
Throw in all the ingredients cited above and stew over a low fire, scooping out unwanted matters and scum regularly.

After 3~4 hours, taste the soup, which should have become whitish and slightly opaque with bone fat floating on top. If it is still too bland, continue stewing.

Strain the soup into a clean pan.
The soup, whenever reheated, should be done so without a lid.

Having strained the soup, you will find there is still plenty of meat left on the bones.
It would be a shame to throw it away!
Just taste it and you will understand!

Pick the bones out carefully and throw away the rest.
The meat should come off easily enough to be done by hand.

Do be careful though when you do so as the meat will contain hidden bones piece, which are sharp!

I’m sure you can use all that meat for another succulent recipe!


Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery