Chinese Chicken Stock

chinese soup
Use this stock for your Asian-inspired soups

Mr Michael Phams / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
406 Calories
23g Fat
2g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 406
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 161mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 45g
Calcium 57mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

For a different take on a traditional stock, try this Chinese-inspired rice wine and ginger stock. It's a warming preparation that can be a stand-alone meal or the base for other richer preparations. This succulent stock is made with chicken pieces that are packed with flavor, such as necks, wings, and backs, but other more traditional pieces like thighs or drumsticks can be used. The beauty of this light soup is that you can use any chicken pieces you have at hand and repurpose cuts that otherwise might be going to waste. The delicious chicken flavor gets a kick from some fragrant ginger and the perfect level of acidity from a splash of rice wine. Once strained, the rich stock can be served as an appetizer with a nice piece of bread, much like in a consommé-style supper, or be used as the base for other recipes such as Japanese ramen or udon, or a Chinese noodle preparation.

The key to a perfect sock is to cook low and slow, to allow the flavors to meld and the liquid to reduce properly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, or make it salt-free if your main goal is for it to be used in other recipes that do contain salt. Although we used necks and wings for flavor, there's a lot more you can add to this stock at very low or no price. When buying your chicken, ask the counter if they can give you some chicken bones, scraps, and unutilized pieces that people don't buy. These little pieces add a ton of flavor and are overlooked by most cooks who seek the more traditional cuts and avoid skin and fatty parts altogether. The collagen and connective tissues in the bones help thicken your stock while adding flavor, so once the stock is reduced and strained you'll obtain a thicker product that is deep-in-flavor and the perfect foundation for many other dishes, such as soups, stews, risottos, gravies, and many sauces.

If you have plenty of chicken pieces, bones, and scraps, make as much stock as you can by doubling our measurements. Strain, allow it to cool, and freeze flat in small zip-top bags or in ice cube trays. A couple of frozen stock cubes added into your favorite dishes will add a secret oomph that is just delicious. Although our recipe is chicken-based, you can do the same with turkey scraps and bones to obtain a different and milder poultry stock that is very tasty and equally versatile. Although most stocks also use aromatics, herbs, and vegetables to enhance their flavors, we relied simply on ginger and the deeply flavorful rice wine, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented glutinous rice.


  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, backs, necks, or wings
  • 10 cups water, cold
  • 3 slices​ fresh ginger
  • 2​ scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry
  • 1 dash salt, or to taste
  • Optional: 1 dash black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the chicken pieces in a large pot with 10 cups of water, or enough to cover.

  3. Add the ginger, green onion, rice wine or sherry. Bring to a boil over medium heat, occasionally skimming off the foam that rises to the top.

  4. Add salt to taste and black pepper if desired.

  5. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain the broth and use as called for in recipes.

  6. Enjoy!