Hong Kong Style Clay Pot Rice

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The Rice Bowl To End All Rice Bowls. The Rice Bowl That Launched A Thousand Ships. The rice bowl that needs only fifteen short minutes of cooking time before you’re happily scarfing it down.

This Clay Pot Rice is actually somewhat similar to a Korean bibimbap, in that you get those slightly crispy bits of rice at the bottom of the pot. You basically steam it with a bunch of Chinese charcuterie (cured pork belly and Chinese sausage), whip up a quick sauce, and stir it all together with fresh green onion. The salty, savory sausage and pork belly flavor the rice, and when you’re stirring that glorious mess together, it’s like…Helen of Who? If Agamemnon had this rice bowl, that whole Trojan War debacle could probably have been avoided. 

The key to the short cooking time in this Hong Kong Style Clay Pot Rice is soaking the rice for an hour beforehand (by the way, this recipe was written by my mom. I happen to just be writing the whole intro/preface/lead-in today).

Just put the rice and water into your pot and walk away for an hour. Read a magazine, get some errands done, binge-watch a few episodes of The Mindy Project. By the time you come back, the process of making this rice is incredibly simple. As for the main punch-you-in-the-face-with-flavor ingredients, i.e. the cured meats…you can find them at your local Chinese grocery near the butcher’s section. Look for a dark-colored, cured pork belly and regular dried Chinese sausage, or “lap cheung.” Although pretty much anything in that cured meats section would probably work for this. You can buy a bunch and keep it–vacuum packed–in your fridge for a few months.

Okay. Brace yourself.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 cup water
  • a 3-inch piece of cured pork belly
  • 1-2 links of sweet Chinese sausage
  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned soy sauce (you can substitute this with a bit more regular soy sauce as well)
  • ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • A pinch of white pepper
  • 1 scallion, chopped

Soak your cup of rice in (exactly) a cup of water in your clay pot for an hour (see bottom of the post for instructions on making this in your trusty rice cooker).

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After it’s been soaked, put the pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. When it’s boiling, put the cured meats on top of the rice (don’t stir at this point. Just plop ‘em in.). Cover the pot, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauces, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper.

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After the ten minutes have elapsed, uncover the pot and pour the sauce evenly over the rice. Cover it back up and simmer for another 3 minutes.

After that, uncover the pot, slice up the meats, and add them back to the pot along with your chopped scallion.

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Add more soy sauce if you like!

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And now, the best part. Stir everything together.

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Jeez Louise. For once, my shoddy photography kind of did the dish justice.

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You can also make this in a rice cooker. Just add the rice, water, and meat to the rice cooker, press the button, and cook normally. When the rice is done, take the meat out and slice it. Add it back to the rice along with the sauce and the scallions. It’s an easier method than the clay pot, but the clay pot is what gets the crispy rice bottom thing going.

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Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you’re looking for more dishes involving the life-giving grain that is rice, check out our Vegetable Fried Rice or our Roasted Chicken with Sticky Rice.

HONG KONG STYLE CLAY POT RICE

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

HONG KONG STYLE CLAY POT RICE

Ingredients

1 cup long grain rice
1 cup water
a 3-inch piece of cured pork belly
1-2 links of sweet Chinese sausage
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned soy sauce (you can substitute this with a bit more regular soy sauce as well)
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of white pepper
1 scallion, chopped

Soak your cup of rice in (exactly) a cup of water in your clay pot for an hour. After it's been soaked, put the pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. When it's boiling, put the cured meats on top of the rice (don't stir). Cover the pot, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauces, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Uncover the pot, and pour the sauce evenly over the rice evenly. Cover it back up and simmer for another 3 minutes.

After that, uncover the pot, slice up the meats, and add them back to the pot along with your chopped scallion. Stir everything together. You can also add more soy sauce, to taste!

You can also make this dish in a rice cooker. Just add the rice, water, and meat to the rice cooker and cook normally. When the rice is done, take the meat out and slice it. Add it back to the rice along with the sauce and the scallions!

http://thewoksoflife.com/2014/03/hong-kong-style-clay-pot-rice/

 

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Comments

  1. says

    We went to have clay pot rice when we were in HK a month ago. It is such a classic HK dish that I wanted my husband to try it. It was great. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Maybe I can try making it at home one day.

  2. Maggie says

    I tried this for the first time in Chinatown and loved it! Do you think I could use the black Korean pot instead (the kind used for bibimbap or tofu soup)?

    • Sarah says

      Hey Maggie, I think you could totally use one of the Korean stone pots. We have a few of those too for soondubu cravings. : )

    • says

      Hi Lily, No need to soak when using a rice cooker since the moisture is sealed in nicely. Personally, I like my rice in this dish a bit on the firmer side so I use less water but it’s all personal preference. Let us know how yours turns out!

    • Sarah says

      Hey Lily, great question! If you use a rice cooker, you don’t need to soak the rice, just cook it normally, with the sausage and pork belly in there along with the rice and water. Hope you like it!

      • Josette says

        Still just 1:1 ratio rice to water in the rice cooker? My cooker is 2x water to the amount of rice, otherwise it burns.

        • says

          Hey Josette, all rice cookers are a little different…some even have lines to tell you where to fill up the water depending on how many cups of rice you’ve added. But for this recipe, you don’t even necessarily need a rice cooker!

          • Josette says

            I don’t have a clay pot, but I have a rice cooker and Dutch ovens. Will using the “traditional” 2:1 water to rice ratio ruin the dish with non-clay pot cooking methods, or does the 1:1 ratio work regardless of the method?

            • says

              Hi Josette, just use whatever water to rice ratio works normally for you and your particular rice cooker, and it should be fine! Better to do it in the rice cooker than the dutch oven.

    • Sarah says

      Thanks Saucy Spatula! Went over to check out your blog and I’ve seen some mouthwatering recipes on your site as well. Can’t wait to continue following! : )

  3. Molly says

    This looks amazing, but I don’t have a clay pot r a rice cooker. Could I use an enameled cast iron pot? Also, I live in a very hight desert elevation (one mile above sea level) should I use more water? Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Hey Molly, you can try following the recipe with the clay pot method–the exact same way, but just use a regular medium saucepan. In terms of the high altitude (where do you LIVE that’s that high? I’ve always wanted to live in the mountains…), you may need to add more water since liquids evaporate faster, and you may need to soak/cook the rice significantly longer.

      Try soaking the rice for an extra thirty minutes with 25% extra water, and then increase the cook time to 15 minutes? I’ve never cooked at that high an altitude, but you can experiment with cooking times. Just make sure the heat’s not too high, since a regular metal saucepan doesn’t absorb heat as evenly as a clay pot, and the rice might burn.

      • Molly says

        I will give that a try and let you know what works. I live in Albuquerque, NM where the average humidity is like 5 or 6 %. Northern NM is lovely with beautiful mountains.

  4. Jenny Lee says

    I’ve never bought cured pork belly. Will it come in a standard width and then use a 3″ long piece?

  5. Haley says

    This was wonderful! I used a terra cotta tagine on the stovetop with an iron skillet underneath (to prevent cracking). And I subbed some grilled short ribs because I was too impatient to wait until I could get into town for the cured meats. (Cured meats would obviously be much better!) :) I made everything else the same as posted in the recipe; I even got those crunchy little rice bits with my tagine! Thank you for this recipe! It’s perfect and I can’t wait to try it with the right meats!

    • says

      Hi, Haley, that’s a brilliant idea. I also have to try this recipe with ribs too. Thank you so much for sharing. Sounds like you had a lovely meal!

    • says

      Hi Mel,
      While a gas flame is best, a clay pot should work just fine on a flat cooktop. (see update below)

      updated: While I remember that our family used a clay pot on an electric coil when I was a kid, I am reading that other do not recommend it! Then I realized what we call a clay pot is actually translated into “sand pot” so it is quite different from clay pots from Europe! In either case, I think the point is that these earthen type pots should not be subjected to intense, fast high heat which is given off by electric stoves. I also remember that our cooking with earthen pots are mostly done with slow heating. Hope that helps for now but I think I need to do more research myself!

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