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The Hirshon Chinese "Master Sauce” - 鹵水

The Hirshon Chinese “Master Sauce” – 鹵水

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • The “Master Sauce” – the initial pot:
  • 2 cups dark soy sauce with mushroom essence
  • 1 cup light soy sauce (this is regular soy sauce) – TFD very much prefers Kentucky (yes – KENTUCKY!) soy sauce
  • 1 cup sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 2 cups bottled water
  • 2 pigs feet, cut in half lengthwise by your butcher
  • 1 1/2 cups Shao Xing rice wine – TFD prefers Pagoda brand
  • 2 tbsp. mei-kuei-lu rose wine – 98 proof
  • 1 small whole onion, peeled and wedged
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 green onion, cut in about 1-inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 inches length fresh ginger, cut into thick slices
  • ***
  • For the spices – place all of these in a cheesecloth bag for easy removal:
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 teaspoons cloves
  • 3 to 4 whole cardamom – chop them into big pieces or crack them
  • 15 star anises, break them up
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly cracked
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns, lightly cracked
  • 2 black cardamom seeds – halved
  • 2 sticks cinnamon, hand-break them into small shreds
  • 3 teaspoons red Sichuan peppercorns, as fresh as you can get
  • 3 pieces dried tangerine peels (chan pei)
  • 3 big cubes (each about 2-inch x 2-inch x 1-inch) Chinese golden rock sugar


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a medium-size pot. Bring the sauce to a boil. Do an initial boiling for about 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it bubble for about 3 hours. Strain out all the spices and meats (the pigs feet should be delicious!).
  2. There… you have a pot of “Master Sauce” freshly made. Be sure and follow the safety directions noted above about boiling the stock every few days if you keep it in the fridge or once a month if kept in the freezer. Also add new spices per the post above before each use.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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