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Red-braised master stock is the perfect stock for poaching and braising meat and poultry. Apart from pork belly, whole quails, pigeon, lamb ribs, duck breasts and beef brisket all work really well when red-braised. After cooking with the stock, you simply strain it and freeze it indefinitely to use again. It ages gracefully, developing a stronger flavour over time. You can, of course, substitute fresh lemon or lime cheeks for the finger limes.

To view the recipe on or browse more recipes, click here.

Photo: William Meppem Styling Hannah Meppem

Photo: William Meppem Styling Hannah Meppem


3.5 litres red-braised master stock (see recipe below)
1 x 450g free-range boneless pork belly, skin on, at room temperature
1 cup (220g) brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) water
2 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1-2 lemons
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
4 fresh finger limes sliced in half lengthways (or use 2 x lemon or lime cheeks)

Red-braised Master Stock
4 spring onions, trimmed and halved
80g ginger, thickly sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 strips (about 6cm x 1cm) orange peel, white pith removed
8 whole star anise
4 cinnamon quills
375ml (1 cups) light soy sauce*
250ml (1 cup) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
3 litres cold water

* check gluten-free if required


1. For the master stock, place all ingredients in a large saucepan that will later hold the pork belly comfortably, and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

2. Meanwhile, place pork belly in a separate saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain. This will remove any impurities from the meat.

3. After 25 minutes, return the stock to the boil. Lower pork belly into the stock, ensuring it is fully submerged – you may need to weigh it down with a plate – and poach pork gently for three hours or until the meat is very tender. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary. Do not put a lid on the pan at any stage. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to top up the stock with hot water during cooking to keep the pork submerged.) To check if it's ready, pierce the pork with a small knife – you should meet no resistance.

4. Remove pork from the pot and set aside on a paper towel-covered plate to drain thoroughly. When pork is cool enough to handle, carefully cut into large bite-sized pieces. After cooking with the stock, you can strain it and freeze it to use again. It will develop a stronger flavour over time.

5. Place the cup of brown sugar and cup of water in a medium-sized pan and bring to the boil, then allow to caramelise, which will take about six minutes. Add the fish sauce and lemon juice.

6. Add pork pieces to hot caramel sauce and toss well. Place hot pork pieces in a serving dish, sprinkle with Sichuan pepper and salt flakes, and serve with freshly squeezed finger limes.





We go through dozens and dozens of eggs each week at Billy Kwong, cooking our "staples", which include fried rice and a version of this dish. Although these fried eggs are extremely simple to make, the deliciousness of this recipe relies upon super-fresh eggs. This dish is all about colour and texture for me. What you want is crunchy egg whites, and crispy golden brown, yet, runny yolks. Serve this dish with some steamed rice, and call it a meal.

Photo: William Meppem Styling Hannah Meppem

Photo: William Meppem Styling Hannah Meppem


Prepare the chilli sauce

1. Chop chilli and ginger in a food processor until finely chopped.

2. Heat oil in a wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Reduce heat to low-medium, add chilli and ginger and cook, stirring regularly, for about three minutes to cook out the flavours. Add sugar and cook for one minute, stirring regularly so sauce doesn't catch on the wok base.

3. Stir through soy sauce, reduce heat to low and cook, still stirring, for 10 minutes – the sauce should darken, and the oil will separate at this stage. The chilli sauce can be used straight away or cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For eggs

1. Heat the oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly.

2. Crack eggs into a small bowl, then pour into hot oil. After one minute, reduce heat to medium, allowing the underside of the eggs to become firm and crisp – the yolks should still be runny at this point.

3. Carefully slide a spatula under the eggs, then pour off and discard the oil. Return eggs to wok and cook for a further minute to become crisp.

4. Gently remove eggs from wok and drain off any excess oil before easing onto a plate. Drizzle eggs with soy sauce, chilli sauce, garnish with pepper and spring onions, and serve immediately.


2 tbsp chilli sauce
1 cups vegetable oil
4 free-range eggs*
1 tbsp light soy sauce
pinch ground white pepper
1/2 cup spring onions, finely sliced

*Weekly farmers markets always have great free-range or organic eggs on offer. Sure, the eggs may cost a bit more by the dozen, but in my view, it is a worthwhile investment, from a sustainability and flavour perspective,

For the chilli sauce (makes 240g or 1 cup)
8 large red chillies, roughly chopped
75g ginger, roughly chopped
125ml vegetable oil
tsp white sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce






Good quality wonton wrappers and super fresh Australian prawns, when boiled, transform into silky, mouth-watering, delectable, clean-tasting wontons. A version of this recipe, steamed prawn wontons with organic brown rice vinegar dressing, has been a staple on my Billy Kwong menu for the past 16 years, and at our large Kwong family gatherings.

Photo: William Meppem

Photo: William Meppem



2½ tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp finely diced ginger

1 tbsp finely diced garlic

2 tbsp finely sliced spring onions

2 tbsp finely diced celery

2 tbsp kecap manis

2 tbsp malt vinegar

¼ tsp chilli oil

½ tsp sesame oil


9 uncooked medium-sized prawns (about 300g)

2 tbsp finely sliced spring onion

1½ tsp finely diced ginger

1 tsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

1 tsp light soy sauce

¼ tsp white sugar

¼ tsp sesame oil

16 fresh wonton wrappers, about 7cm square


1. Combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic, spring onions, celery, kecap manis, vinegar and both oils in a bowl and set aside.

2. Peel and de-vein prawns, then dice prawn meat – you should have about 150 grams of diced prawn meat. Combine prawn meat with remaining ingredients, except wonton wrappers, in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Fill and shape wontons:

3. Place a rounded teaspoon of the prawn filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrapper.




4. Fold the wrapper in half to enclose the filling, creating a rectangle. Press lightly around filling and along edges to seal.




5. Hold the wonton lengthways in between your hands and fold the sealed edge of the wonton back in on itself.





6. Lightly moisten one corner of the folded edge with water. Take the two ends in your fingers, bring them together with a twisting action, and press them lightly to join.

7. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.


8. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully drop wontons, in batches, into the water and cook for two minutes, or until they are just cooked. To test the wontons, you will need to remove one using a slotted spoon and cut into it with a sharp knife to see if the prawns are cooked through. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon and drain. Repeat process with remaining wontons.

9. Arrange wontons on a platter and serve immediately, drizzled with dressing.


■ Fresh wonton wrappers are available not only in all Asian grocery stores but also in the refrigerated sections of most supermarkets.

■ Sprinkle finished dish with Sichuan pepper and salt for an extra layer of flavour: combine one tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns with three tablespoons salt flakes. Dry roast over medium-heat, tossing occasionally. Once the peppercorns begin to pop and become aromatic, about 1-2 minutes, take off the heat. Allow to cool then coarsely grind using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Store in an airtight container for several weeks.

■ It is fine to omit the chilli oil.

■ Boil the wontons and serve them instead in a light broth (fish, chicken, vegetable broth best ) for a simple version of prawn wonton soup – I season my Chinese soups with light soy to taste and a touch of sesame oil. Bring the broth to the boil, season, then add some freshly trimmed and washed bok choy leaves and some finely sliced fresh Asian-style mushrooms, cooking for one minute. Place boiled wontons into a bowl, ladle over the hot broth.

■ You could deep-fry these wontons for crispy prawn wontons. Heat vegetable oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Carefully add the wontons in batches and deep-fry for about two minutes or until just cooked and lightly browned. To test the wontons, remove one using a slotted spoon and cut into it to see if the prawns are cooked through. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. I would serve these wontons with a sauce such as sweet chilli or sweet and sour.

To view the recipe on or browse more recipes, click here.