Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁

Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁: Make your own savory & fragrant stock for your favorite Chinese dishes. This bold, rich stock is perfect for poaching & braising meat.

Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁 is a savory and fragrant stock full of pungent Chinese spices. It’s a common ingredient used in Cantonese & Fujian cooking to poach or braise meat. The weirdest, or actually the best thing about it is they’re reusable for years!

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Chinese Master Stock is used to make some of my favorite comfort food from home. So, it’s definitely a MUST on our Pressure Cooker To-Make List.

Make your own savory & fragrant Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁 for your favorite Chinese dishes. This bold, rich stock is perfect for poaching & braising meat.

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Many Chinese restaurants treasure their Master Stock like GOLD because it’s loaded with layers of thick flavors after cooking with the same broth for years.

After each use, the poached meat and other ingredients will extract their own flavors into the stock. So, the flavors will continue to accumulate and create a richer, more complex stock. THIS is their secret sauce!!

Did you know that some restaurants use the same stock for over 100 years after being passed down from generation to generation? Now I know what wedding gift I should give to my future kids! 😀

Ingredients for Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁


Chinese Master Stock Recipe Ingredients 滷水汁Master Stock Base

Spices for Master Stock

Instructions for Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁


Step 1
Release the Aroma


First crack the dried black cardamom pods with your knife.

Then, place all the spices into the pressure cooker and heat them up (Instant Pot: press Sauté button).

The spices will slowly release their aroma.

Step 2
Vaporize the Alcohol


Once the pressure cooker is hot, pour in the Shaoxing wine and boil off the alcohol.

Step 3
Pressure Cook the Master Stock


Pour the remaining ingredients into the pressure cooker.

Close lid and pressure cook at

  • Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 10 minutes, then
  • Pressure Release Method: 10 minutes Natural Release

Open lid. Taste and add salt to your stock.

Now you can start cooking with the master stock!

Storage and Usage Tips for Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁


Don’t throw away the stock after the first use!! They’re called Master Stock for a reason. 😀

Flavors: When the stock is first created, it won’t taste like the normal Master Stock you get from restaurants. However, after using it to cook meat, the true flavors will be extracted. The more you use it to cook, the more depths of flavors it’ll developed. So, if you like, you can add 6 – 8 chicken drumsticks to the ingredients to make the stock.

Freeze: After every use, strain and set the stock aside to cool, then chill overnight in the fridge. When the fat rises to the top and form a layer of gel, skim it off, then freeze the stock for next use. A more convenient method is to use a fat separator to remove the fat, then freeze the stock.

Storage Duration: You can store the stock in the fridge for 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.Reuse: When you take the stock out of the freezer, make sure to bring it to a full boil before using it to cook. We usually cook the stock at High Pressure for 10 minutes, then Quick Release before using it to cook.

Revamp the Flavors: If your stock is going low in volume, add more water, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and other spices to keep it from diluting.

Recipes that Use Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁


Soy Sauce Eggs Recipe

Make this super easy Soy Sauce Eggs Recipe that celebrates a beautiful bond between a little boy and his Grandma. Flavorful eggs with perfectly cooked egg yolks & smooth egg whites, infused with delicious homemade Chinese Master Stock.

Chinese Braised Beef Shank Recipe

Make this delicious Chinese Braised Beef Shank Recipe in the Pressure Cooker with homemade Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁! This flavorful and tender beef makes a great chilled appetizer or a warm main dish.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
Make your own savory & fragrant Chinese Master Stock for your favorite Chinese dishes. This bold, rich stock is perfect for poaching & braising meat.
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce, Stock
Cuisine: Chinese
Serving: 1½ - 2 cups
Ingredients
Master Stock
Spices for Master Stock
Instructions
  1. Release the Aroma: First crack the dried black cardamom pods with your knife. Then, place all the spices into the pressure cooker and heat them up (Instant Pot: press Sauté button). The spices will slowly release their aroma.
  2. Vaporize the Alcohol: Once the pressure cooker is hot, pour in the Shaoxing wine and boil off the alcohol.
  3. Pressure Cook the Master Stock: Pour the remaining ingredients into the pressure cooker. Close lid and cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release. Taste and add salt to your master stock. Now you can start cooking with the master stock!
Notes
If you like, you can add 6 – 8 chicken drumsticks and cook with the Master Stock simultaneously.

Freeze the Master Stock: After every use, strain and set the Stock aside to cool, then chill overnight in the fridge. When the fat rises to the top and form a layer of gel, skim it off, then freeze the stock for next use. A more convenient method is to use a fat separator to remove the fat, then freeze the stock.

Storage Duration: You can store it in the fridge for 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Reuse the Master Stock: When you take the Stock out of the freezer, make sure to bring it to a full boil before using it to cook. We usually cook the Stock at High Pressure for 10 minutes, then Quick Release before using it to cook.

Revamp the Flavors: If your Master Stock is going low in volume, add more water, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and other spices to keep it from diluting.
Make your own savory & fragrant Chinese Master Stock 滷水汁 for your favorite Chinese dishes. This bold, rich stock is perfect for poaching & braising meat.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
    1. Hi Celia,

      Late Reply! (We were on a trip to Asia) Thank you so much for your question 🙂

      You can also make this on stovetop.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  1. Love you guys. About to make this for the first time. Haven’t seen this question yet — do you leave in the spices or remove them after making the master stock? Before freezing?

    1. Hi Mark,

      Late Reply! (We were on a trip to Asia) Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      You will want to remove the spices after making the master stock.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  2. A question. So you take master stock, boil. Then use on the dish your cooking. Which infuses the meat or dish and then you recollect it again put in fridge, then freeze and do this every time?

    1. Hi Jaye,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your question. Yes, the steps are correct. You will want to adjust the seasoning with more soy sauce and spices from time to time.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  3. I feel very confident with the instant pot electric pressure cooker. I was always afraid to use
    in fear of blowing up…. I have a strong confident in my new electric pressure. Your recipe are appreciated.

  4. Hi Amy & Jacky,
    From your instructions:
    Reuse the Master Stock: When you take the Stock out of the freezer, make sure to bring it to a full boil before using it to cook. We usually cook the Stock at High Pressure for 10 minutes, then Quick Release before using it to cook.
    I have just froze the master stock.
    Can I just put the frozen master stock HP for 10 mins and QR? Or should I let it thaw before HP 10 mins?
    After QR, do I have to let the master cook come to room before cooking eg: the beef shank recipe?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sandrine,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The frozen master stock can be pressure cooked without thawing.

      The beef shank can be cooked with the hot master stock. The cooking time should be increase by 2 minutes to compensate for the shorter get up to pressure time.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Samantha,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Green cardamom pods is sweeter, but it will still work fine as a substitution.

      Take care & have a great weekend
      Jacky

    1. Hi Lyn,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      This stock will work heavenly with deep fried tofu, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, daikon (white carrots)…etc

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  5. I have been using the stock for about 6 months, but it is starting be be gelatinous when it is cold and very thick, is that okay?

    1. Hi Will,

      thank you for your question!

      Gelatinous means the collagen from the meat bones are getting dissolved. It is actually good for us 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  6. (Sorry I arrived late to this party. 😉 I can’t wait to make this! What about using bone broth instead of water to make the master stock? I’m thinking that would have the master stock more rounded and flavorful right from the start? Thanks!

  7. Can we replace any Spices for Master Stock such as anise instead of fennel? Will it have any change in the flavor and texture of the master stock?

    1. Hi Lita,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can omit the fennel seed, but star anise is crucial to a Chinese master stock

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  8. So, Amy and Jacky, what have you cooked in your Master Sauce to enrich the flavors since you posted this delicious recipe about a year ago? Perhaps a filling for lettuce wraps? A soup or stew? Pressure-cooked pork chops or pork roast? A vegetarian tofu dish? Par-cooked some chicken wings before grilling them? A whole chicken, to use the meat for a Chinese-style chicken salad or to add to another dish? I’m sure I’m not the only one who is curious.

    I do have a question about salt. How do you handle the salt balance of the Master Sauce over successive cooks in order to keep it from getting saltier over time? Do you suggest adding only half the amount of salt suggested in a recipe when using the Master Sauce instead of any liquids (usually chicken broth or water) called for in the new recipe?

    I especially enjoy your posts because you often touch on subjects that are not mainstream. Your Master Sauce recipe is one example. I have only seen it discussed in 2 of my many books about Asian cooking — Irene Kuo’s and Barbara Tropp’s

    1. Hi Rita,

      thank you so much for your kind words and question 🙂

      We usually use our master stock for eggs, chicken legs, and pork belly!

      Chicken legs will release a lot of moisture (think of it as chicken stock) so it will dilute the saltiness in the master stock.

      A good way is to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly after or before each use.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  9. I just polished off some of the chicken wings I put in with the master stock and they were spot on with a great complex flavour! The beef shank is in my pot cooking as I type. Thanks for the excellent recipe and for the neat history behind it as well.

    Do you think turnip, tofu and other non-meat foods would work in the master stock as well? If so, any other suggestions? y

    5 stars! (Not sure why I can only give you only 4 in the comments section)

    1. Hi Victoria,

      thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      Eggs, tofu (deep fried tofu puff is excellent), shiitake mushrooms, daikon are great!!!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  10. Just a question about the Storage Duration: “You can store it in the fridge for 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 month.” Do I have to throw out the sauce at the third month mark and make a new batch? Thanks! You guys rock!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      The quality will start to degrade at around the 3 months mark. You can still use the stock. I would throw the stock out and make a new batch if it has been frozen for a year.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  11. I made this following instructions exactly. My ingredients are all sourced from Chinese supermarkets.

    The stock came out very bitter. Please tell me of this is the way it is supposed to taste.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi PeppaD,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The stock is not supposed to taste bitter at all. One of the ingredients may have gone bad.

      Check the ginger first as ginger usually turns bitter as it gets older.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  12. Hi Amy and Jacky,

    Just made this, so exited, can’t wait to make those Eggs!
    Wondering, when you say (when I have fat)
    To skim it off and freeze it, you mean freezing the master broth, right?
    The fat goes in trash, yes?

    Thanks for your great and tasty recipes!
    Jutta

    1. Hi Jutta,

      It’s great to see you here and thank you for your kind words.

      Yes, we meant the master stock. It does sounds like to freeze the fat for next use in the sentence (We have corrected it)

      The fat goes into the trash 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking. See you around
      Jacky

  13. This is so interesting! I followed this link from your recent Instant Pot Soy Sauce Chicken and Rice (Pot in Pot) recipe. Thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to making my first master stock and starting to build this liquid gold.

  14. This looks great. Think I would use a bit of raw honey instead of sugar. But my question is how to do this without a pressure cooker. How long should the stock be cooked on stove top?

    1. Hi Tanya,
      thank you for your comment and question 🙂
      It doesn’t take a lot longer.
      We just need to extract the flavor from the spice for about 20 minutes.

      I recommend adding some chicken drumsticks or other meat to cook with the master stock for the first batch 🙂

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  15. Hey! Looking at making this but I am a bit confused. You say this is good for up to three months in the freezer and you also say that people have been using the same master stock for many decades. Which is it? Months or decades? This looks great as a braise for celery btw, one of my favorites.

    1. Hi Mark,
      Great question. Just like many other food, master stock will keep infinitely inside the freezer and will be safe to consumed.
      The quality will slowly degrade over time and for this master stock it is around 3 – 6 months.

      The way to “reset” the counter is to use it at least once every 3 months and also revamp the flavor with more ingredients to keep it top notch.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Angie, thank you for the comment and the suggestion 🙂
      Yes, we can do that too for quick meals! The only con is not being able to keep enhancing the flavor as we can’t reuse it 🙂

      Just thinking of the master stock’s fragrance makes me hungry 😛

  16. Very happy to see this recipe here! This is definitely something to store in the kitchen and I can see myself use it in every dish. Great that I can make it with pressure cooker within minutes now!

    1. Hi Maggie, glad you find this helpful! Yeah, I can’t wait to make more delicious dishes with this Chinese Master Stock! 😀

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