Warm broths have this power to evoke a childhood memory of a savory savior releasing you from the grasps of the common cold. Doctor mom or dad would prescribe the natural remedy for any and all that ailed you. In some families that soul-soothing soup might be paired with chicken and noodles, a refreshing carbonated beverage or perhaps some Vicks VapoRub. Enter Brothecary — a company that takes their premium bone broth and transforms it into an elixir served with dumplings. Borrowing from their family’s Cantonese recipe, twins Allison So and Janice So have whipped up a modern take on the parental potion that is applicable both in sickness and in health. “Everyone’s mom has their own,” Allison said. With Brothecary “we wanted to share with the world what we found to be so rejuvenating and healing in our diet.”
The two spent time away from their California home in New York, expanding their palate thanks to the Big Apple’s extensive culinary scene - but there was something missing: a good home-cooked broth that had once been a staple in their meals.
Stricken with homesickness, the two set out to re-master the perfect antidote for their ills and to keep their menu simple and focused on quality, the So sisters specialize in two main broths: chicken and beef.
Cooked for 20 hours, the chicken bone broth combines organic Jidori chicken with the dried fruits and herbs found in the traditional recipe. The finished product is something unlike a typical chicken soup. The savory flavor is balanced against a soft sweetness extracted from succulent red dates, fresh coconut and longan fruit (same fruit family as the lychee).
The more familiar beef bone broth is a communion of grass-fed beef bone and marrow with onion and garlic. The end result is a light and buttery texture that tastes wholesome and delightful. The particular cuts of beef are chosen for their high gelatin content that can provide for stronger, healthier hair and nails.
Both broths are jam-packed with nutrients that are anti-inflammatory, healthy for your stomach and skin and provide other vitamins and minerals such as protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium and electrolytes.
The bone broths are delivered through various forms. One can drink the broth straight like a juice, or pair it with a serving of chicken or vegetable filled dumplings topped with scallions and egg for the chicken broth or kimchi if you go with the beef broth.
Brothecary’s Panacea is the XLD — a soup dumpling stuffed with soup and pork so massive that it comes with its own straw to slurp up every last drop of goodness. Soon the So sisters will also debut a cold broth perfect for summer, served up with gyoza chicken dumplings and fresh zucchini noodles.
Working out of commissary kitchens, the two have developed a sense of community through cooking and have continued that communal practice at Smorgasburg, where they can be found every Sunday feeding the crowds their special concoctions.
Written by Brian Chernick
Photographed by Eric Cacioppo