3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water until softened, squeezed dry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
20g salted fish (use whatever is available from your Asian grocer), diced
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely sliced ginger
1 lap cheong sausage, thinly sliced
200g long-grain rice, rinsed and drained well
310ml chicken stock or water
2 baby bok choy, trimmed and blanched
chopped coriander, to garnish
FOR THE MARINADE
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon ginger juice, squeezed from grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
This one-pot meal is one of my favourite dishes when the weather turns cold. Traditionally, chicken, lap cheong sausage and shiitake mushrooms are the usual suspects for flavouring the rice, but I’ve also had this with goose-liver sausage, frogs’ legs and salted fish. The best claypot rice I’ve eaten was at the very old-school Kwan Kee in the Western District of Hong Kong Island. This recipe is Cantonese in origin, but there are several versions of this popular dish. Should you use a Chinese claypot, a good trick is to drizzle 1⁄2 tablespoon of oil around the side of the pot after the rice is just cooked so it forms a firmer crust.
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the chicken, toss to coat well and set aside for 30 minutes.
Discard the stems from the mushrooms and slice the caps into quarters.
Heat the oil in a claypot over medium heat.
Add the salted fish, fry until golden and then transfer to a plate.
Add the garlic, ginger, lap cheong and shiitake mushrooms to the pot and stir-fry for 15 seconds.
Add the chicken and stir-fry until partially cooked.
Remove everything from the pot and mix with the salted fish.
Add the rice to the pot and stir well to coat with the oil, then add the stock or water and bring to the boil.
Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
Return the chicken and salted fish mixture to the pot, cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
Turn off the heat, add the bok choy, cover and leave for 3 minutes.
Sprinkle with coriander and serve.
Edited extract from Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan
Published by Murdoch Books, distributed by Allen & Unwin
Photography by Greg Elms.