Stocks and Soups

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Good stock is the basis of many great Chinese soups and most stir-fries. A welcome addition to any steamed dish, you can just pour good stock into a bowl with the meat, poultry or fish and seasoning to make a silky self-saucing dish.
Chinese-style stock is very simple to master. It requires none of the roasting of bones or vegetables and deglazing that a French-style stock does. The reason being that we are looking for a clear, light broth that has the body and essence of the chicken, but is not clouded with the taste of vegetables. The best way to handle stock at home is to make a big batch and freeze it in small containers. We always have lots of this in the freezer at home so it can be pulled out for a soup or a stir-fry. It also makes a great base for risotto and, as Sam, my wife, uses it, for baby food. Simmered with vegetables and puréed it gives baby food more taste and body; our children love it. I now find that at work and at home this is the only chicken stock I use.