Jing Medicine: Bone Marrow Custard

bones “The sage knows that the jing/essence is the most precious substance in the body. Like the root of a tree it should be protected and hidden from ‘thieves’ so that in spring there will not be febrile disease.” (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, p.14,Maoshing Ni). When essence is nourished our immunity is strong and we will not get sick. As the weather shifts to cold and leaves fall our energy retreats to our roots, our hidden reserves. In Chinese medicine essence is both prenatal, we are born with and postnatal, alchemized from foods we eat. It is believed to reside in the head the brain as the sea of marrow, the kidneys and the bone marrow.  With insufficient essence our spirit and mind are unclear, our fertility compromised, and our backs bowed and we have no energy to move forward. With sufficient essence our spirits are vibrant, we can think clearly, we can make healthy blood, yin, yang and qi and stand and move strong on the earth. Having bone broth or bone marrow custard is like having a cup of jing, like storing energy in our body’s batteries.

I had the delightful pleasurcowse of meeting Jim Gates of Nevada County Free Range Beef. He grows up from roots deep in the ground on this land. I bought 50 pounds of knuckle and marrow bones from him. He had to hurry on cause his cows are all calving and he didn’t want to miss a thing.

I brought home my bone booty, feeling rich and nourished just holding them in the box. And made some bone marrow custard. I have made this many times, and sometimes it just didnt turn out. Be patient and try again if it doesn’t work out. It is so worth it. The times that the fat sugar salt balance is right, I eat my whole batch, all 6 custard bowls, fresh out of the oven.






Preheat oven to 300 degrees

3 eggs

2 cups raw milk

1/4-1/2 c date sugar

lemon zest

vanilla powder

sea salt

4 marrow bones


Put the bones in a pot with water. Bring to boil, simmer 15-20 mins. You can save this broth. I just added it to the knuckle bones cooking in my crock.

Pull bones out to cool.

Mix in blender eggs, milk, date sugar, salt, lemon zest, vanilla.  Warm mixture in a sauce pan on low.  Scoop out marrow into blender, be sure to add some tallow as well. The tallow will carmelize with that date sugar and form a delish crust on the custard.  I poke marrow out with a chop stick. Add in egg mixture to marrow in blender. Blend.

Prepare custard cups in a pan with an inch of water on the bottom. Pour in 3/4 full.  Should fill 6-8 custard cups.

Then add your bones to your stock pot with some knuckle to make some rich broth to drink all winter long. Then witness your health virility with the return of spring!