I have always been fascinated by the burning charcoal stoves and the skills of the person manning them at claypot rice restaurants that continue making them the old fashion way. Love the sight of the glowing embers and the occasional outburst of sparks that sets them flying into the air. The skills of those manning these stoves is just amazing. They easily watch over 10-20 of these stoves. Like a hawk, they keep a close eye on the rice making sure they are cooked just right while controlling the flames by fanning and adding/removing embers.
It is these stoves and the use of claypots that gives the rice a nice smokey flavor and a slightly charred crusty layer of rice at the bottom of the pot.
Fascinations aside, I can't imagine myself sweating over a charcoal stove :) I have always cooked a modernised version of claypot rice using the rice cooker although I do own a claypot. I have no idea what struck me the other day and there was this nudge to try doing it with the claypot (over a gas stove i mean, that's the furthest I can go). It was like, come on, give it a try, why not? Worst case scenario would be burning the entire pot of rice. If the man at the restaurant can watch over so many pots, i should be able to cope with just one and that's over a stove that can be controlled by just a flick of the knob. Phew, glad my pot of rice made it and the cooking process was enjoyable. It was happiness when I reached the little milestones along the way. The finale had to be the moment I caught a whiff of the nice, smoky aroma, yeay :))
I had so much fun with my maiden attempt that I made another two variations after trying out the classic chicken one! Since it is the Mushroom Galore month on Little Thumbs Up and today is the last day for me to catch this train, it will be this mushroom and beef variation for tonight :)
I spotted the recipe on Terri's of Hunger Hunger. She concocted the recipe based on what she saw on a tv program on food of Southern China. I thought it was interesting that mushroom was the star ingredient when most of time it played a side role in claypot dishes. One can even make it vegan if preferred.
And the rice at the bottom...
And after everything is mixed up, not so pretty anymore (and too impatient to eat than to make it look prettier for pictures) but it was satisfactorily delicious especially if you are a mushroom lover.
Source : Hunger Hunger
- A handful of 3 kinds of mushrooms (I used Bunashimeji, Bunapi and Eryngii)
- 300g beef
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups water with 1/2 cube chicken stock added into it
- Sesame oil
- Spring onions
- 1 tbsp Shao Xing wine
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fine sugar
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 1 tbsp water
- A few twist of freshly grounded black pepper
- Trim and give mushrooms a quick wash. Tear bigger mushrooms into strips.
- Cut meat into strips and season with marinade. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Put 1 1/2 tbsp oil into heated wok. Put in beef and stir fry until half cooked. Remove and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in wok. Add in garlic, stir fry for 2 seconds then add a pinch of salt. Add in mushroom and stir fry until mushrooms are just about to wilt. Add in beef and toss for a few seconds. Remove and set aside. Don't overcook it as it will cook again in the claypot.
- Put washed rice into claypot. Add in water. Let water come to a boil then set flame to low to allow it to simmer until rice is 90% cook. Water would have been absorbed by rice.
- Quickly add in the mushroom and beef on top of rice in one layer. Cover and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Leave rice to sit in pot with lid covered for another 5 minutes.
- Fluff rice with wooden paddle to mix everything up. Serve hot, garnished with spring onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.