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Chinese Masterstock recipe

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane

Chinese masterstock is one of the greatest assets you can have in your kitchen. It is incredibly versatile, imparts lots of flavour and, more importantly, lasts forever. In China, masterstocks are handed down from one generation to the next.
We suggest that when you originally make your masterstock that you cook a dish such as our red cooked shoulder of pork. This will ensure that the stock becomes very gelatinous, helping to give a satiny finish to dishes.
You need to locate some dark soy sauce as this is the main ingredients that provides the deep red colour for the stock and hence allows you to do ‘red cooked' dishes. We like the deeply rich Cheong Chan Elephant Brand.
Some recipes use dried mandarin peel but we find that its flavour is too aggressive - so we impart a milder citrus flavour with the orange peel instead.
3 litres water
500 mls Chinese rice wine
100 mls dark soy sauce
500 mls soy sauce
100 grams yellow rock sugar
2 tablespoons ginger sliced finely
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
3 quills cinnamon
10 star anise
2 teaspoons of orange rind
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down until the stock is simmering and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
You are now ready to use this stock with the red-cooked pork shoulder or to simmer duck breasts or to produce a wonderful chicken dish by simmering it for five minutes in the masterstock and then turning off the heat and leaving it to steep for about forty minutes.
Important: This stock will keep indefinitely in the fridge (you can also freeze it if you prefer). When you take it out of the fridge you should bring it to the boil and allow it to boil vigorously for about two minutes to ensure there are no bacteria remaining. After we have cooked anything in the masterstock we strain it, return it to the boil for two more minutes while skimming off any impurities. We then allow it to cool to room temperature before returning it to its home in the fridge.
© Sue Dyson and Roger McShane, 2003
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