Asian Masterstock: Essential Basic

Masterstock basics

Asian 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 Asia, masterstocks are handed down from one generation to the next.

The reason we call it Asian masterstock rather than Chinese masterstock is that we prefer to use some Japanese ingredients, especially the soy sauce which we find more complex and less assertive.

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 rare, deeply rich Japanese soy sauce made by Inoue Honten called Igeta Koikuchi (Dark) which is imported into Australia by our friends at Black Market Sake. We use a mixture of their dark soy sauce and their light version called Igeta Usukuchi.

You can read more about these soy products by clicking on the link below:

Black Market Sake

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.

Asian Masterstock

Recipe by Sue Dyson and Roger McShaneCuisine: Chinese
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 100 mls dark soy sauce 

  • 3 litres water

  • 500 mls Chinese rice wine                    

  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns           

  • 500 mls light soy sauce                                

  • 10 grams grated turmeric (optional)                  

  • 20 grams, sliced finely sliced ginger                                   

  • 3 quills cinnamon                                

  • 10 star anise                                

  • 10 black peppercorns                  

  • Orange rind peeled from quarter of an orange                              


  • 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.


  • 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 then 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.