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The Henschke Family

Australia’s First Families of Wines: Feast with the Henschkes

Preparation time
10 Minutes
Cooking time
5 Minutes

Our family has been making wine since Johann Christian Henschke planted his first vineyard in South Australia’s Eden Valley in the early 1860s. His first commercial release was in 1868, marking 150 years of family winemaking this year. Today, fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue are joined in the business by the next generation, Johann, Justine and Andreas.

Peggy’s Hill is a local landmark in the Eden Valley wine region that sits in the centre of four long-standing growers’ vineyards, all of which express different regional characteristics from vines up to 50 years old. The Eden Valley region has a continental climate of warm days and cool nights, providing the perfect conditions for Riesling. Our family is very fond of this variety, which we have been making for 150 years this year, often pairing it with oysters, ceviche and other fresh seafood dishes. 

We love The Flower Drum’s ‘Sautéed Pearl Meat’ as a pairing for this wine. This dish features pearl meat from Broome, Western Australia, thinly sliced and stir-fried with spring onion, asparagus and garlic chives.

"We cook Anthony’s pearl meat dish at home, however, pearl meat can be a little hard to source. With enough notice, quality fish mongers will be able to order it on your behalf." Justine Henschke



200g pearl meat, sliced very finely

2 spring onions

6 asparagus spears, in 3cm lengths

2 tablespoons chicken stock

½ teaspoon Shao Hsing wine

¼ teaspoon potato flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vegetable oil, to stir-fry

the asparagus

50ml vegetable oil, for flash-frying

(adjust as required, to only just

submerge pearl meat)

4 pieces of garlic chives, cut into

3-4cm pieces

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

50ml oyster sauce


1. Slice pearl meat very finely. (Note: the thinner the pearl meat, the faster it will cook.)

2. Remove the root ends and the dark green ends from the spring onions. Discard.

Remove the outer layer of the spring onion, leaving only the core then slice into fine 3cm long lengths.

3. Wash and cut asparagus into 3cm lengths.

4. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, Shao Hsing wine, potato flour and salt. Reserve. (Re-mix just prior to pouring into the wok).

5. Bring a small pot or wok of water to boil then blanch asparagus for approximately 30 seconds. Drain.

6. Heat a wok with ½ tsp of oil then stir-fry the asparagus, with a pinch of salt, for 20 seconds. Remove from wok. Reserve for plating.

7. While the wok is still hot, add sufficient oil to just submerge the pearl meat.  When the oil reaches approx 80°C, flash-fry the pearl meat for less than 10 seconds. Do not overcook. Loosen the pieces of pearl meat, remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper.

8. Discard all but a thin layer of the remaining oil from the wok.

9. Keeping the wok hot, use only the oil remaining in the wok to stir-fry the spring onion pieces, then the pearl meat.

10. Toss for 10 seconds, then add the chicken stock mixture. Continuously move the ingredients in the wok to allow the potato flour to thicken evenly.

11. Add the garlic chives. Stir, then immediately finish by adding the sesame oil to the pearl meat while still in the wok.

12. Plate the asparagus and the pearl meat, accompanied by oyster sauce for dipping as a condiment.

If you are unable to find pearl meat, substitutes include abalone, razor clams or scallops.

Preparation time
10 Minutes
Cooking time
5 Minutes