I've been thinking about my childhood a lot lately. Started late last year when I had an idea about traveling to Hong Kong and just eat. Eat the food that I ate when I was a kid and to just learn more about Hong Kong food. What I know about Hong Kong food is just snippets of memories, certain things I remember eating. Most of what I know about Hong Kong food is what I grew up eating in Los Angeles and tv shows. So I decided in 2016, I want to cook and eat more Hong Kong and Cantonese food. And what's more Cantonese than dim sum and roast meats? Clay pot rice!
Clay pot rice is very simple. It's just rice and whatever veggie or meat or seafood cooked in a clay pot. It's super comforting. I have cooked this in a rice cooker many times but I wanted to do it properly so I went and spent $7 on a clay pot.
Serves 2 Things you'll need: 1 cup rice (soaked in water for 30mins and rinsed) 1.5 cup water 2 Chinese sausages 1 piece of Chinese cured pork belly Scallions Handful of muy choi (preserved mustard greens), optional Oil Clay pot rice soy sauce (which you can get in a bottle or make your own by combining light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar)
Of course you DON'T need to cook it in a clay pot. This can be done in a rice cooker or a Dutch oven.
Coat the bottom of the pot with oil.
Add the cup of rice and water to the pot. Put the lid on and put the pot on high flames to bring the water to a boil. Here's the tricky part which I didn't master. Many recipes I found online have different ways of telling when the rice is ready or different times. A person said to put the lid on and cook for 10mins while another person said when the water is about 80% gone. I feel it's hard to go by minutes because it depends on how much rice you're cooking. Also none of them were clear if I was suppose to cook it for 10mins after the water boils or 10mins total.
So I kind of went with my gut. Spoilers, at the end the rice could've used another 5-7mins of cooking. Next time...
While the rice is cooking, occasionally stir the rice. This is to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot.
When the rice is about/close to done aka 80% of the water is gone, place the sausages, pork belly, muy choi (rinsed and chopped) on top of the rice. Put the lid back on, lower the flame to low, and let it cook for 13mins.
OK, so here's a tough part. After 13mins, turn the flames to high and tilt the pot at an angle. The point here is to create the popular crusty/crispy rice that everyone loves. But to do that, you have to cook the sides as well. I found it difficult to hold the pot tilting it on all the different sides while trying not to burn my hands. Gotta figure this one out too. Online says, about 2mins on all sides.
After you're done cooking the sides, turn the heat off, and just let everything steam inside for 10mins. This is a good time to prep your soy sauce if you're making your own or for me, figuring out how to style this. Food styling isn't my strong point.
After it has been steaming for 10mins, take the lid off and drizzle the soy sauce and finish it with some scallions. I served it with some bok choy.
Of course if you're being fancy and sharing it with someone, take the sausages and pork belly out and slice them.
Hopefully you'll have some crispy rice....unlike mine.