After a long hiatus, I have decided to be back. I have been cooking a lot these days, not as much as I want to but good for a restart.
One of my favourite place (Tong Chiang Hakka Cuisine in Lavender street) for claypot rice has closed or rather taken over by another person and the cook has left too. They still sell the dish but what a world of difference, it simply do not taste the same. The name of the eating place remains the same but they don't sell Hakka Food at all! What a shame!
So I decided to cook my own and replicate the flavour of the dish. So here it is.
For 6 persons
4 cups of rice - washed and dry
1 whole chicken - cut into pieces
2 lap cheong (Chinese sausages) - sliced diagonally into thin pieces
1 liver sausage (optional) - do likewise as above
1 lap yoke (Chinese flat preserved meat) optional - sliced thinly
2 pieces of dried scallops
8 pieces of dried Shitake mushrooms - washed and soaked in hot water (reserve liquid) - sliced
1 thumb size piece of salted fish - cut
6 stalks of choy sum
4 cloves garlic - chopped
10 shallots - sliced (5 pieces for cooking and 5 pieces for crispy shallots and oil)
2 tsp chicken seasoning powder or 1 stock cube
water/chicken stock without salt
chicken oil - optional
1 1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
5 tsp of ginger juice
Prepare the 5 pieces of sliced shallots for frying it till crispy and keep the oil for later use.
Marinade chicken pieces with ginger juice, oyster sauce, dark sauce and pepper.
In a pan, put oil and fry the salted fish till fragrant and dish out and put aside.
Fry the rest of sliced shallots, garlic in the remaining oil and add more chicken oil if using.
Add the rice grains to the fragrant oil and fry well. Add chicken powder/stock cube, pepper and salt to taste.
Fry a few minutes till well mixed. Scoop rice into the claypot.
Measure reserved mushroom water and additional water/stock to exactly 4 cups of liquid and pour into the claypot of rice. Cover the claypot and put a damp towel around it if necessary.
Simmer rice till dry, add marinated chicken pieces, Chinese sausages, liver sausage, flat preserved meat, mushrooms, salted fish and vegetables.
Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes or more.
Taste the rice, it might need more time to cook till the rice and chicken to be soft.
When the rice is ready, serve the whole pot to the dining table. Uncover and scoop all the ingredients except the rice onto the cover.
Using a rice scoop, mix the rice thoroughly with more dark soya sauce and the reserved shallot oil.
Put the ingredients back into the pot and mix with rice again.
Serve with crispy shallots and chilli sauce.
PS: the rice crust that is stuck around the claypot is the highlight - crispy and delicious!