Cantonese-Style Clay Pot Rice with Sausages (广式腊肠煲仔饭 Guang Shi La Chang Bao Zai Fan)
February 26, 2022  Print
The weather has been pretty chilly lately, even in Texas. So I have been making dishes that are more suitable for colder days. Today’s Cantonese-Style Clay Pot Rice with Sausages is one of the ones I have been making regularly. Clay pot rice (煲仔饭) is a popular Cantonese-style one-bowl meal that uses a clay pot (砂锅/煲仔) to cook the rice. It’s topped with proteins and vegetables and drizzled with a soy-sauce-based sauce that I find very flavorful.
Using the clay pot results the characteristic scorched rice (锅巴) at the bottom of the pot. When mixed together with the toppings and the sauce, the combination of crunchy and soft rice, fatty sweet sausage, and umami filled sauce gives a satisfying experience in both texture and flavor. There is quite a selection of proteins you can use for toppings. Some common ones are Cantonese-style cured meat (腊味),3 Cantonese-style roasted meat (aka siu mei 烧味), tofu, and fish. Different proteins pair well with each other or with vegetables. Each combination is delicious and flavorful on its own.
When I lived in downtown Manhattan, I used to go to this Chinese restaurant specializing in Cantonese clay pot rice in Chinatown. Every clay pot had a unique flavor. So it definitely takes me back whenever I eat a clay pot rice dish. I hope to cover a few of my other favorite ones like the Chicken Shiitake Clay Pot Rice (香菇滑鸡煲仔饭), Salted Fish Tofu Clay Pot Rice (咸鱼豆腐煲仔饭), among others.
Tool: clay pot 1
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 people
- 2 cups rice 2 (ideally long-grain rice)
- 3 cups water 2
- 2 – 3 Cantonese-style sausages 3
- several Shanghai baby bok choy
- 1 large egg (optional)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 4
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Rinse the rice at least three times. Then soak the rice in water for 15 minutes up to an hour.
- While soaking the rice, prepare the other ingredients. Cut the Cantonese sausages diagonally into thin slices. Wash the Shanghai baby bok choy and cut them in half lengthwise. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the condiments under the Sauce heading. This includes 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and 1 tablespoons of water.
- When the rice is done soaking, rinse it a few more times and add the rice to the clay pot.1 Pour in the water and smooth the rice surface with one hand. Cover the lid and turn the heat to medium-high. When the water boils, remove the lid and lower the heat to medium. Let the rice cook for a few minutes with the lid open. When small holes start appearing on the rice and the water has substantially subsided, lower the heat to low/simmering. Quickly arrange the sliced sausages on top of the rice. Cover the lid and simmer the rice for 15 minutes.
- Fill a sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the Shanghai baby bok choy and a few drops of vegetable oil when water boils. Blanch for 3 minutes and take the bok choy out immediately. Drain thoroughly.
- When the 15 minutes rice simmering time is up, remove the lid and add the large egg (after breaking) into the clay pot. Cover the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid. Arrange the Shanghai baby bok choy on the rice next to the sausages and egg. Drizzle the sauce on top, first around the edges then over the toppings. Turn off the heat. Mix everything and enjoy!
- A clay pot (砂锅/煲仔) is preferred for making this recipe. But you can also use a small to medium sauce pan or even a ricer cooker. You might not get a consistently scorched rice at the bottom, however, if you are not using a clay pot.
- My clay pot is fairly large (about 12 inches in diameter and 6 inches high) and a bit too big for this recipe (in my opinion). So I used 2 cups of rice. I’m actually getting a smaller one soon which should be a much better fit for this recipe. You can certainly use less rice. Make sure your rice to water ratio is about 1:1.5.
- I used Cantonese-style sausage which is a type of Cantonese cured meat (腊味) for today’s topping. You can find these sausages in any Asian grocery store. Many western grocery stores carry them as well. For this recipe, you can also use other types of Cantonese cured meat (腊味) in addition to or as replacements for the Cantonese-style sausage.
- You can get oyster sauce from any Asian grocery store. Some common brands are Lee Kum Kee , Haday, and Kikkoman. If you want an ultra fancy one, try the MegaChef Oyster sauce.
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