Clay Pot Rice with Shiitake and Chinese Sausage Recipe

This is one of my favourite fuss-free one-pot meals. Traditionally, the clay pot is set over a charcoal fire and you bring the finished dish straight to the table, lifting the lid to a smoky fragrance and oohs and aahs. Today, the reality is that most of us will be cooking this over a regular stove, so if you can’t get hold of a clay pot, a small heavy-bottomed pot with a tight lid will do. The idea is that you want the rice to steam, absorbing the flavours from the Chinese sausage and mushrooms; and the bottom layer to char, forming a delicious crispy crust.

This recipe is extracted from Agak Agak, by Shu Han Lee (Hardie Grant Books £26). Photography by Ola O. Smit. 

Try Shu Han Lee's recipe for Tea Leaf Eggs or Hainanese Chicken Rice.


Ingredients for Clay Pot Rice with Shiitake and Chinese Sausage

How to make Clay Pot Rice with Shiitake and Chinese Sausage

  1. This is a quick recipe but calls for a fair amount of (inactive) soaking time in advance. Soak the clay pot the night before – this prevents it cracking over the heat. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes – this helps it cook more quickly and evenly in the clay pot. Soak the dried shiitake in the hot water, with the soy sauce and oyster sauce stirred in, for 30 minutes.
  2. When the shiitake mushrooms are so% and plump, drain, squeezing the liquid out, and slice. Reserve the liquid – it’s full of flavour and forms a mushroom stock for cooking our rice with.
  3. Heat the clay pot over medium heat. Drizzle the vegetable oil and sesame oil down the sides. Add the garlic and fry until golden. Then add the drained, rinsed rice. Lightly sauté to coat the grains with oil.
  4. Pour in the mushroom stock and bring to a simmer. Arrange the Chinese sausage and mushrooms over. Cover and turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and arrange your greens on top. Cover again and turn the heat up to high for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve straight from the clay pot. In Singapore, we finish the dish with kecap manis, spring onions and more sesame oil. Dig in, making sure you get the crispy bits at the bottom – the bit we would all fight over.
  6. TIP: Chinese sausage is a dried, cured sausage that can be found on the shelves of Asian supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of it, you can use 200 g (7 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thigh pieces, marinated in 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.
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