I had a really bad craving for claypot chicken rice the other day.
I believe that it was the gloomy weather that brought about that sudden, compelling need for a pot of steaming rice with all the works and the incessant joy of scraping the crusty bits off the bottom.
I had a really bad craving for claypot chicken rice the other day. There were just two problems – I do not have a claypot and though my family is of relatively high socio-economic status, we could not afford chicken.
Where’s the RM1 chicken when you need it?
But no matter. Improvisation is key.
The results of my foraging produced mushrooms from five Chinese New Years’ ago, two lap zheong, some pork ribs and just enough rice to feed my brother and I.
And you thought kids in Africa have it bad.
It usually takes a good 20-30 minutes of constant monitoring to cook claypot chicken rice.
Thankfully despite the inability to buy poultry, we have a rice cooker.
That means that all the ingredients go into one pot, you turn it on and forget about it. And it only takes as long as your rice takes to cook.
In 50 minutes, I had a steaming bowl of not quite claypot chicken rice.
I am not complaining though.
Makes 2 very generous portions
2 dried Chinese sausage or lap zheong, cut into thin slices
4-6 pork ribs
4 Chinese mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
Ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, 2 shallots, minced finely
Spring onion, whites cut into 1inch sections, green tops reserved for garnish
1 cup of white rice, washed until water runs clear
Marinade for pork ribs
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp of corn starch
Dash of shaoxing wine (optional)
For the rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
Dash of white pepper
Dash of sesame oil
Water as per your rice cooker instruction
1. Marinade your pork ribs and set aside for 30 minutes while you prepare your other ingredients.
2. In a wok, add in your vegetable and sesame oil and saute the garlic, shallots, ginger slices and bottom ends of the spring onion until it is fragrant.
3. Add in your washed rice and turn the heat to high. Stir constantly to allow the rice to absorb the flavours of the aromatics.
4. Pour the rice, meat and mushroom into your rice cooker and add enough water as per your rice cooker manufacturer instruction.
5. Add in the light and dark soy sauce and a generous dash of white pepper.
6. Set your rice cooker to cook.
7. Once the timer is up, leave the rice for 10-15 minutes for it to dry out slightly.
8. Garnish with spring onion and serve.