In Chinese cookery, a ‘master sauce’ is less a ‘sauce’ than it is a complex and re-usable, aromatic broth that is used to serially cook various meats and other foods, thus both giving and developing its own new depths flavor. With each use, the stock becomes richer and can be prolonged (as long as certain care is taken to prevent spoilage) for a very long time. Whether strictly true or not, it is claimed that there are master sauces that have been in continual use for generations.
The Chinese word for master sauce is:
The first character, ‘鹵’, is pronounced ‘lǔ’ and means brine, while the second, pronounced ‘shuǐ’, means ‘water’. Together, the two characters are most frequently translated as ‘marinade’. For today’s post, I am simply going to begin a batch but, over the next few months, I shall be using the result to cook a series of meals and will keep you posted as to the development of the sauce over time…