Clay pot cooking usually uses unglazed clay pot and is long believed to produce flavourful results. Clay pot chicken rice is a popular item in the food courts* in Malaysia. While more accurate recipes call for the Chinese sausage to flavour the rice in this dish, I am using dried shrimps (and glazed clay pot).
The thick soy sauce used in this recipe is a type of soy sauce that is very viscous, mildly sweet (not salty) and has a caramelised taste, instead of being a darker version of the regular salty soy sauce. If you can’t find this ingredient, you can substitute it with sweet soy sauce (again, it’s sweet instead of salty).
3 chicken thighs, de-boned and diced
½ onion, diced
1 desert spoon of sliced ginger
5-6 dried or fresh mushroom, sliced
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark, thick soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
¾ teaspoon pure sesame oil
A dash of white pepper
Spring onions, chopped
1 cup of rice
1½ - 2 cups of hot water
Chopped bird’s eye chilli
Marinade the chicken in soy sauces, ginger, mirin, white pepper and sesame oil. Fry the onion and mushroom over very low heat in the clay pot. When these ingredients are softened and lightly browned, add the chicken and marinade into the pot. Cook for five minutes, or until the chicken is 80% cooked. Place the contents in a bowl for later.
Wash the rice, drain and add the rice and hot water to the clay pot. The rice is cooked over medium-low heat with the lid on, adding water if needed. When it is nearly cooked, the chicken and gravy is poured onto the rice. Put the lid on and turn the heat to very low. The rice should be ready to eat in five minutes, sprinkled with chopped spring onions, served with garlic and/or chillies doused in soy sauce.
* Food Courts: An open plan customer seating area shared between several small food stalls. They are quite commonly found in shopping malls in Asia. The advantage of this type of eating establishment is that a group of people dining together can have Chinese, Indian, Malay, Western food etc. at the same time.These days, the list often includes cuisine from all over the globe, more popularly Japanese, Korean and Italian.
Tip: Always gradually heat or cool the clay pot to prevent them from cracking.