Claypot rice variations

Claypot rice variations

xo ribs, aubergine, tofu & kailan

By
From
Hong Kong Diner
Serves
2
Photographer
Kris Kirkham

The MODERN-DAY FAST FOOD eating culture of Hong Kong does not necessarily lend itself to claypot cooking, since for most Hong Kongers’ stomachs and schedules, 20 minutes is just too long to wait for a good meal. When the city is packed to the brim with DELICIOUS AND HIGH-QUALITY ‘FAST FOOD’, it is too easy to forget that some dishes just need a little time and love. Because of this, there are only a few claypot cafés left in Hong Kong, but they are ABSOLUTELY WORTH EVERY MINUTE of salivating and anticipation while waiting. The beauty of claypot rice cooking, for me, is that the steam from the rice is what gently cooks the marinated meat or vegetables on top, keeping a NATURAL TEXTURE to the food that is to die for.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Equipment

Quantity Ingredient
a medium-size hob-safe claypot

Setting up your claypot

Quantity Ingredient
160g washed thai fragrant rice
150ml water
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Option 1: xo ribs marinade

Quantity Ingredient
150g pork ribs, (chopped by the butcher into small bite-size chunks)
1/2 a fresh red chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons xo sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Option 2: aubergine (eggplant), tofu & kai lan

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 a chinese aubergine, cut into 3cm lengths
3 x 3mm thick slices of shop-bought five-spice-pressed tofu
3 stalks of kai lan, sliced digaonally, (swapsies: tenderstem broccoli)
1 tablespoon vegetarian stir-fry sauce, such as lee kum kee
1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Method

  1. Wash the rice well 3 or 4 times, to get rid of as much starch as possible and create a fluffy, rather than sticky, end result. Drain through a sieve.
  2. Depending on which variation you choose for your claypot rice topping, mix all ingredients together, then cover and leave to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. Put the rice and water into a claypot, then spoon over the marinated meat or vegetables and cover with a lid. Bring the water to the boil on a medium heat, then turn down to a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, without opening the lid at all.
  4. After 15 minutes, open the lid and spoon 2 tablespoons of the oil all the way around the edge of the claypot, to allow the oil to slip down to the bottom of the pot and around the edge of the rice. Cover once more and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes. Then open the lid and spoon another tablespoon of oil around the edge of the claypot, cover for the final time and cook through for another 3–4 minutes. Do not be tempted to stir the topping mixture and rice together, as this will affect the cooking success of the dish.
  5. Lastly, take the claypot off the heat and allow it to sit, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. This last process will allow the rice to fluff up slightly with the excess steam from the meat or vegetables. Serve with a portion of Quick Chilli Soy Sauce on the side.

Tip

  • If cooking the vegetarian option, try placing the kai lan or broccoli into the claypot rice for the last 5 minutes of cooking to avoid overcooking.
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