Poaching or cooking in liquid is one of the great arts of Chinese cooking. There are many different poaching styles and once you’ve mastered them you will not believe the different textures and flavours you can tempt out of poultry, meat and fish. Many of the poaching liquids can be kept and reused or make a luxurious sauce.
Master stock is a sauce in which the ingredient is first cooked and allowed to cool down. This allows the flavour to start permeating the skin, but not to reach deep into the flesh; the result is a silky texture and meat with just a hint of flavour. In China some master stock are generations old by virtue of the fact that the old base is boiled and added to the next use.