Chinese Claypot Rice (煲仔飯)

Chicken Claypot Rice

A classic winter warmer that HKer’s love to eat is Claypot Rice (煲仔飯). It’s a hearty dish of rice, soy sauce and simple ingredients such as Lap Cheong and chicken cooked in a claypot. Traditionally all the ingredients are cooked with the rice over a charcoal stove for a smokey flavour, allowing the rice to soak in all the flavors. Without a doubt, the best part of this dish is the crispy crust that forms on the bottom and sides of the claypot.

Chicken Claypot Rice

Bo Zai Fan (煲仔飯) was always something that I would eat in restaurants, it never crossed my mind to attempt it at home. When I came across Adam Liaw’s Cheat’s Claypot recipe, I knew it was something I had to try. He call’s it a Cheat’s recipe for a reason:  the rice is cooked separately to ensure the liquid’s in this dish are well-balanced. This recipe also uses classic claypot ingredients of chicken, shiitake mushrooms and Chinese sausages (Lap Cheong).

Hubby and I love Lap Cheong, so I made a point to point in slightly more of it when I cooked this dish. I was a bit skeptical that a crispy crust would form with Adam’s recipe, but to my surprise a nice smokey layer of crispy rice formed at the bottom of my claypot! I wasn’t able to get any on the sides, but hubby and I were satisfied with the result. Yummmmy!!!

I just halved the recipe for the 2 of us.  I wasn’t sure with using so much dark soy, so I held back.  While we were eating it, I realized that I could’ve went ahead with the amount the recipe called for.  I also added 2 tsp light soy and used only a touch of salt.  In Adam’s recipe, there is no light soy, so if you want to follow his then omit it.

Adam Liaw’s Cheat’s Claypot
Serves 4

Base Marinade
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy
2 tsp light soy
1 tsp cornflour
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp Shaoxing wine
2 tsp grated ginger

4 skinless chicken thighs, sliced
2 Chinese sausages (lap cheong / 臘腸), sliced
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cups of warm cooked jasmine rice
1/4 cup spring onions, thinly sliced
handful coriander leaves
salt, to taste
sweet soy sauce or chili sauce, to serve

Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for 30 minutes or more. Once the mushrooms soften, reserve 1/2 cup of the seeping liquid and remove the stems of the mushroom and slice into 1/2″ strips.

Wash the Lap Cheong and put into a shallow dish and pour boiling water over and soak for a minute.

Slice the chicken thighs into smaller pieces. Diagonally cut the Lap Cheong into 1/4″ slices.

Mix together the Base Marinade with the chicken, Lap Cheong and mushrooms, marinade for 10 minutes or more.

Heat the 1/2 cup of seeping mushroom liquid in a large saucepan over hight heat and add the chicken, Lap Cheong and mushroom marinade and stir until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the rice and stir until well combined. Add salt to taste. Transfer all the ingredients into a claypot and continue to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until a crust forms on the bottom (and edges if possible).

Garnish with spring onions ions and plenty of coriander and serve.

Enjoy with sweet soy sauce or your favorite chili sauce.

Chicken Claypot Rice

Source: Adam Liaw’s Asian After Work

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