In Japanese cooking, skimming off the scum and fat that accumulates on the surface of the soup/stock is very important to create a nice and clean soup/stock. Yes, I know it is extra work, but it’s also the key for the “refined” taste and it is required to keep the liquid clear.
When soups and stocks are about to boil, proteins start to congeal and create foams that rise to the surface. It’s usually whitish or brownish and you need to remove the form as quickly as possible before it boils and mixes up the scum with the soup/stock. And here’s how I do it.
How To Skim Off the Scum and Fat from Soups and Stocks
- You will need a fine-mesh skimmer and a liquid measuring cup (or bowl) filled with water.
- When the soup/stock is about to boil, stay around the kitchen. You‘ll start to see the scum and fat floating and creating forms. With the mesh sieve in one hand and the bowl of water in the other, start scooping it off.
- After you pick up the scum, rinse the sieve in the measuring cup (or bowl) and continue to scoop the scum.
- Keep the liquid at a simmer rather than a hard boil because it will mix up the scum and cloud the soup. Make sure to thoroughly skim.