After all, if bones alone impart flavour to a broth, imagine the intensity actual pieces of meat would yield. "In Spain, it’s quite common to find chopped jamón bones in supermarkets for people to make broths at home. So Spanish cuisine does traditionally call for jamón bones to make jamón broth. Unfortunately, it’s hard to source in Singapore due to the regulations of import," shares Aitor Jeronimo Orive, head chef of one-Michelin-starred restaurant Iggy's.
He continues: "When we started experimenting in the kitchen, we had to use jamón meat and found that it actually yielded a more flavourful broth or dashi when combined with dried mushrooms, kombu and sliced bonito."
Thus, the idea to create a jamon broth using the meaty ham was sparked. The trick here is to use minced jamon rather than sliced, as mincing the ham introduces more surface area in contact with the simmering water, yielding more flavour from each piece of jamon.
The clear yet deeply flavourful broth is a good base for most dishes, and is used in a Vegetable Garden dish at Iggy's where it's poured over a mix of raw and blanched seasonal greens.
RECIPE FOR JAMON BROTH
- 2l water
- 3 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 20g dried kombu
- 40g bonito flakes
- 100g shio koji
- 125g jamon
- To prepare the dashi, fill a deep pot with water and soak kombu and dried shiitake for 45 minutes on low heat.
- Add kombu and bonito flakes into pot to infuse further for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Strain the liquid over a chinois sieve.
- Add shio koji until desired saltiness is reached.
- Infuse jamon and dashi in a deep pot over low heat for at least four hours to extract all flavour.
- Season with salt until desired taste is achieved.
- Strain all liquid through a chinois sieve.
- Serve with a homemade bowl of ramen, or even as the base of cooking a congee.