"Claypot rice is the ultimate one-pot meal. There are many styles and variations but all are characterized by the lovely crispy rice you get at the bottom of the pot. Super-comforting and extremely easy to put together, this is my favourite version.
There’s something about the smell of the claypot that adds to the comforting qualities of this dish. Claypots are inexpensive and you can find them in East and Southeast Asian markets or online. Claypots require a gas hob or charcoal flame. If you don’t have a claypot, a Dutch oven or cast-iron pot will do. A small rice cooker will also do the trick – layer the rice and toppings as below and set to ‘cook’. Just make sure the chicken is cooked through before serving.
Or, if you’d like to make this vegan, replace the chicken with five spice firm tofu, and the oyster sauce with vegetarian stir fry sauce."
This recipe is from Bowls & Broths by Pippa Middlehurst (Quadrille, £16.99) Photography: India Hobson
Ingredients for chicken claypot rice
- 1 small handful of dried black fungus mushrooms (optional)
- 240g (8½oz) jasmine rice
- 240ml (8fl oz) water
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 tbsp white miso
- ½ tsp sea salt (any kind)
- 1 tsp light (soft) brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 pinch of ground white pepper
- 2 skin-on, boneless chicken thighs (approx. 240g/8½oz), sliced into 1cm (½in) slices
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes, finely sliced
- 2½cm (1in) ginger, sliced into thin rounds
- 4 spring onions, white parts kept whole, green parts finely sliced
How to make chicken claypot rice
- Place the claypot in a sink and cover entirely with cold water. Let it soak while you prepare the ingredients.
- Soak the black fungus for 15 minutes in boiling water. Strain, then roughly chop the mushrooms.
- Rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve (strainer) until the water runs clear.
- Add to a 22cm (8½in) claypot with the water. Let this soak at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Mix the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, white miso, salt, light (soft) brown sugar, sesame oil and ground white pepper. Place the chicken thighs in the marinade with the shiitake mushrooms and black fungus (if using).
- Nestle the ginger and spring onion (scallion) whites into the rice and water.
- Layer the chicken thigh and mushroom mixture over the top, including all of the marinade. Don’t mix.
- Put a lid on the claypot and set it over a medium-high heat and bring to a simmer – steam will begin to escape from the hole in the lid of the claypot.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for 12 minutes or until all the moisture has absorbed and the rice is cooked. The bottom of the rice should be nice and crispy. Serve with sliced spring onion greens.