This simple recipe for Chinese Master Stock is easy to make using a pressure cooker (Instant Pot). Master stock is a flavorful braising sauce used in Chinese cooking.
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What is Chinese master stock?
Chinese master stock is used in Chinese cooking as a sauce for poaching or braising meats.
Unlike other stocks, the master stock is not typically used as a broth or soup.
Instead, the master stock is stored in the fridge or freezer and re-used to braise or poach another meat.
In turn, the meats infuse the stock and the stock builds more complex flavour.
Subsequently, with repeated braising, the master stock becomes richer and deeper in flavour.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe is simple and easy to follow.
Using a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) cuts down on the cooking time and breaks down the flavours in the meat more efficiently.
You can use any type of meat high in collagen, such as beef shank, beef tendon or chicken wings.
Tip: using meat with bones will give the stock even more flavour.
The resulting master stock is spiced and flavorful, making it versatile for subsequent uses.
Ingredients you'll need
- meat: such as beef shank or chicken wings, chicken drumettes; choose a high quality meat, preferably organic or free-range
- Shaoxing wine: or dry sherry
- dark & light soy sauce: for colour and for taste
- rock sugar: adds a little sweetness; you can use or granulated sugar
- green onions/scallions: you can also use onion if you're in a pinch
- garlic/shallots/ginger: aromatics that will flavour the stock
- star anise: shaped like a star and is used commonly in Vietnamese beef pho; has a fennel aroma and taste
- black cardamom pods: are black in colour and impart a dark, smoky flavour
- green cardamom pods: are small seeds, oval in shape and are light pale green/tan in colour
- cinnamon stick: if you don't have cinnamon stick on hand, you can use a ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon powder -- just add it directly to the stock
- fennel seeds: are small, oval and light green in shape; has a slight sweet licorice flavour
- coriander seed: are small round spherical seeds that are tan in colour, with a bright, citrusy flavour
- sand ginger powder: a type of galangal with a peppery taste; if you don't have it, you can omit
- Sichuan peppercorn (red and green): shaped like small buds, these pack a tingly mala numbing sensation, commonly found in Sichuan cuisine; if you don't like spice, you can omit or decrease the amount
- dried mandarin/orange peel: a sun-dried orange peel, traditionally used in Chinese medicine; imparts a sweet and slightly bitter flavour; sometimes added to Chinese Red Bean Soup.
How to make the master stock
Add meat (beef shank or chicken wings) and all of the remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot.
Place the lid on, set the vent to SEALING and set to MEAT 35 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE.
Let pressure naturally release, and test to see if the meat is tender.
Transfer meat into a bowl for later.
Strain the master stock into a clean, sterile jar or container and let it cool before storing in the fridge.
How to use master stock
Strain the stock and keep in a sterile, airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can store it in a freezer-safe jar indefinitely, if well kept.
Add a tablespoon to dipping sauces to amplify flavour.
When using the master stock, bring up to a boil first before using.
Add a little water, and the original spices and ingredients to replenish the flavour of the stock.
You can play around with adding vegetables to the stock such as:
- shiitake mushrooms
Can I double the recipe?
Yes, you can double the recipe so that you have more stock on hand.
Can I use a different cut of meat?
Yes, any meat that requires a longer period of cooking time will work.
You can use pork belly, in addition to beef and chicken.
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Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Simple Chinese Master Stock (Instant Pot)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 ½ lbs beef shank or chicken wings
- 1 C filtered water
- ¼ C Shaoxing wine
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 piece rock sugar 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 green onions/scallions/spring onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 1" piece ginger
- 3 star anise
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon sand ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn red and green, optional
- 1 small piece dried mandarin/orange peel
- Add meat (beef shank or chicken wings) and all of the remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot.
- Place the lid on, set the vent to SEALING and set to MEAT 35 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE.
- Let pressure naturally release, and test to see if the meat is tender.
- Transfer meat into a bowl for later.
- Strain the master stock into a clean, sterile jar or container and let it cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.