Clay Pot Chicken Rice
In Penang, Malaysia, clay pot chicken rice is known locally as "sar poh kay pui" in colloquial Hokkien. "Sar poh" refers to a type of cooking method using clay pot, and "kay" refers to chicken and "pui" refers to rice. This street food is popular among the local Chinese and traditionally is cooked using clay pot that is glazed on the inside over a charcoal flame. It is quite an experience to watch a street vendor cooked with several stoves and clay pots simultaneously. A skill acquired over many years! Each clay pot chicken rice is cooked to precision with a smoky crusty rice at the bottom.
I love cooking using clay pot at home and I have several different sizes for a different type of cooking. Clay pot is an ancient way of cooking to seal the food inside, preventing any loss of moisture because it is surrounded by steam; thus, creating a tender, flavourful dish. Different cultures have different methods of cooking using a clay pot. There are glazed or unglazed clay pots and they come in different shapes, sizes and designs. This is one of the “must-have” essential kitchen appliances for a Chinese style cooking and it doesn’t cost much to own one. I used my clay pot to slow-cooked in the oven or on top of a gas stove. You can find several of my clay pot cooking recipes on my website and also on my YouTube channel. The clay pot gets better over time and each time before I cooked with it, I would soak with lukewarm tap water to prevent it from cracking. This process is especially important if the clay pot is unglazed. Depending on what I cook in the clay pot, I would use little or no cooking oil, which means it is a healthier form of cooking.
Cut chicken into small bite pieces and then marinade the chicken and set aside
Soak shiitake mushrooms until they are soft and then slice them thinly
Slice a Chinese sausage "lap cheong" into thin slices. Fry "lap cheong" until slightly smoky and crisp
Soak dried salted fish and then slice thinly. Fry salted fish with some oil until lightly browned and crisp.
Wash and cook rice
Slice spring onion finely for garnishing
Slice green vegetable into small sections
Prepare and mix the sauces for the chicken rice
Once rice is half-cooked, add marinated chicken
Once chicken is cooked, add vegetables, the mixed sauces, "lap cheong", salted fish, mushrooms
Garnish with sliced spring onions. Serve while it's hot
How to make
Clean and cut chicken fillets into small bite pieces.
Peel the skin of ginger and then grate the ginger.
Marinade with 1 tablespoon of light soy, 1 tablespoon of dark soy, 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Marinade and set aside for 20 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
Soak shiitake mushrooms on warm-hot water for 20-30 minutes or until they are soft. Cut off the stem and then slice thinly. Set aside.
Slice the Chinese sausage "lap cheong" into thin slices and then fry on a dry pan on low-medium heat until it's starting to smoke slightly. Remove and place on a kitchen paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Soak salted fish to soften and remove some of the excess salt content on the outer layer. Dry with a kitchen paper towel. Slice the salted fish thinly. Add some oil in a hot pan and then fry the salted fish until lightly browned and crisp. Remove and place on a kitchen paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Wash and cooked rice by adding 1 cup of chicken stock using the clay pot.
While rice is being cooked, prepare the remaining ingredients. Slice spring onions into small sections. Wash and cut Chinese leafy green into small sizes. Set aside.
Mix the sauces for dressing over the chicken rice with 1 tablespoon of light soy, 2 tablespoons of dark soy, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine, 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of chicken stock.
Once rice is almost cooked, add the marinated chicken and cooked for 10 minutes. Next add the leafy greens, shiitake mushrooms, sauce mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
Next add the salted fish and "lap cheong" and cook for another 5 minutes.
By now it should be cooked and ready. Garnish with sliced spring onions. Serve while it is hot.
3 chicken thigh fillets (boneless and skin off)
1/2 cup of rice
2-3 inches of fresh ginger
1 spring onion
3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Chinese sausage "lap cheong"
1 small section of dried salted fish
some Chinese green leafy vegetable
light soy sauce
dark soy sauce
Chinese cooking wine