Friday 20 August 2010


Claypot Rice without Claypot/Kinesisk Claypot Ris/煲仔饭[Bāo zǎi fàn]

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Serves 4

Preparation & Cooking Time: 45 minutes excluding marinading time

- 2 cups brown rice
- 250g meat (beef, pork or chicken sliced or minced)
- 8 dried Chinese/shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water for 30 minutes and cut into strips)
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3-4 slices of ginger chopped
- 1 TBS cooking oil
- 1 stalk spring onion chopped
- 1 leek chopped (white portion) (optional)
- A handful of frozen peas (optional)

Seasoning for meat:
- 2 TBS oyster sauce
- 1 TBS soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground oatmeal
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp brown sugar
- Dash of pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese Shaoxing rice wine (note: contains approx. 17% alcohol) (optional)

Seasoning for rice:
- 2 TBS soy sauce
- 2 tsp Chinese sesame oil
- ½ tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 pinch of salt

1. Marinade the meat with the meat seasoning, mix well and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.

2. Wash and rinse the rice in a rice cooker with 2.5 inches of water above the rice (you need more water to cook brown rice) after the meat is marinated for an hour.

3. Add the rice seasoning into the rice and start cooking the rice.

4. At the same time, heat pan with cooking oil and fry garlic and ginger until golden.

5. Add in shitake mushrooms and leek and fry until fragrant

6. Add carrots and fry until half-cooked, then add in the meat and quickly stir-fry until half-cooked.

7. By now, the rice would have been cooking for approx. 15-20 mins. Open open the lid, add the meat and mushrooms on top of the rice, close the lid and continue cooking.

8. Ten mins before the rice is done, sprinkle in some frozen peas and continue to cook until the rice is done.

9. Sprinkle with spring onions and serve.

Nutritional Value:
Brown rice is rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins B1, B3 and B6, manganese (essential for healthy bones, manganese also reduces the symptoms of asthma and is a powerful, energy-providing antioxidant), iron, phosphorus, selenium, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), fibre

Additional Information:

This is the modern Chinese "claypot" rice made using the automatic rice-cooker, not the traditional claypot. There are many different types of Chinese claypot rice, just like there are many different types of western soup. There are chicken claypot rice, pork claypot rice, claypot rice with Chinese sausages, salted fish and fried egg, etc. It is up to your creativity what ingredients you want to put in. Traditionally, Chinese claypot rice does usually come with Chinese sausages. But sausages, whether it is Chinese, European, German or Danish, are the worst and most processed kind of meat you can ever find (Sorry, I may be offending the Germans here, since sausages is so much of a German tradition that it is their traditional Christmas dish).

I like Chinese sausages, but it is very unhealthy. I can do without it, and don’t have so much craving for it. If I do have craving for it, it is a blessing then that I live in Denmark, and Chinese sausages are unavailable. We hardly eat it when we were young, only in restaurants or when we were out. My mother did not use Chinese sausages in her cooking so much. In fact, I don’t think she ever did, unless we specifically requested for it. Come to think of it, I have a lot to thank my mum. Now that I have become a mother myself and started recalling the food that was served at our dining table when I was a child, my mother had actually done a very good job at serving us healthy Chinese food.

When I was a child, we were rather poor, but like all Chinese, my mother always managed to have 3 dishes on the table - a meat dish, a vegetable dish and a soup dish – to go with the rice. As a working mom, this is something I have not been able to achieve to reach my mother’s standard in the traditionally Chinese balance diet sense. I tend to follow the Danish one-dish tradition. Thus, the Chinese claypot rice is a good dish to make, since it is a complete meal consisting of rice, meat and vegetable all-in-one. But of course, we are still missing the soup… ha ha… To think that I used to complain and even threw a tantrum, when I got tired of my mother’s cooking. I am getting back the taste of my own medicine with J!!!

J is only 1.5 years old, and I am already feeling tired about always thinking what to cook for dinner night after night after night after night! To think that this will be my job for the next 2 decades!!! Can someone please tell Daddy to offer to take us out for dinner so that I don’t have to think of what to cook, after I come home from work evening after evening after evening? Now I begin to understand that my mother didn’t have an easy job back then. If I have known earlier and could turn back the clock, I would not throw my temper at my mother anymore for complaining about the food she served on the table.

My mother also has a way of resisting her appetite so that she would be eating with us at the table, and yet not eating much at all, perhaps because she wanted to save money, knowing that she had to manage a tight economy. But she would never tell us that that was the main reason. So every time we asked her to eat, she would say she was not hungry. But I noticed that she would always be able to finish the left-overs, no matter what she said earlier about not being hungry!! I am also following my mother’s foot-steps by eating all the leftovers that Daddy doesn’t want to eat. No guessing today I will be eating the left-over brown rice from yesterday (it will be a waste to throw it away), while serving the family freshly made claypot rice to J and Daddy. I guess the saying is true that you will be more like your mother, than you think you would be.

I like to make it nutritious and kid’s friendly – thus I like to include the carrots and green peas or any other vegetables I can find. Traditionally, the Chinese will use Caixin as the green vegetables in this dish, but it is so expensive in Denmark and I can only get it in Chinatown. To save time, I usually soak the mushrooms and marinade the meat overnight in the fridge.


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