Chinese Clay Pot Cooking
Chinese version of a casserole dish is cooked in a traditional clay pot. We have cooked rice underneath the topping. Everything is cooked separately and then combined together to cook again for another 20 minutes to immerse the rice with the topping. You can use marinated pork, chicken or beef, just as long as it has had time to marinade in sauce before you cook it. Vegetables of choice usually is boy choy, choy sum, or Chinese broccoli. All items are cooked with the protein to combine flavors. It’s a stir fry method, followed by a steaming method, very easy to do. It’s a meal to prepare on a day you have time to keep an eye on the clay pot.
Options for the dish: add mushrooms and/or baby corn the list goes on. I like mushrooms, when I have them available. Baby corn adds nice color and texture too. Tofu may be a option with the meat of choice or alone for vegetarian version. Clay pot meals are budget friendly for the family. I have a medium size clay pot for a family of five.
Recipe: Beef and boy choy cooking in the clay pot
2 oz of flank steak
4 oz of bok choy
2 oz of white or yellow onion
1 oz of minced garlic
1 TBSP of black bean garlic sauce
1 TSBP of corn starch
1/2 cup of Beef stock or water
1 TBSP of each of the * for marinade
*4 small slices of ginger
*light soy sauce
*dark soy sauce
*salt and black pepper
*sesame seed oil
*Shaoxing rice wine
2 TSBP Oyster sauce
2 cups of long grain or short grain rice washed
Step 1 slice the beef in small pieces or cube it. The meat needs to be cut against the grain so it will be tender when you cook it. Marinade the beef with the * items and set it aside in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or more. The longer the better.
Step 2 Take the boy choy and wash it well, then soak in some cold water for a few hours. When it is in cold water it can have an immersion washing that makes sure the dirt is out. You have to check for this again as you rinse out the boy choy. Boy choy hides dirt very well.
Step 3 You can use either Jasmine long grain rice or short grain sticky rice for the dish. It’s up to you. I’ve done both it comes out fine either way. Just make sure you wash the white rice well, until the water runs clear. Add about 3 cups of water to 2 cups of rice to cook in the clay pot over a medium flame for 20-25 minutes. The lid mush be on and you will see the water steaming out you need to keep an eye on it as you might have to turn down the flame or open the lid to allow some air to flow out in case it starts to boil over.
Step 4 After the rice is cooked, turn off the flame. Keep the lid on the clay pot to keep the rice warm. Next we need to chop the bok choy and onions get it ready to stir fry.
Step 5. Take out the beef onto the counter and get a wok or frying pan ready to cook. Place the wok on the stove and turn onto a medium high flame, add some cooking oil. Only enough to coat the wok.
Step 6: Mince more garlic set it aside for later. Taking the sliced onions place into the hot wok and stir it around; add the beef. Beef and onions cooking together is a beautiful thing. Lower the heat just a tad to let the beef and onions marry flavors. Once the beef and onions are lightly cooked through add the bok choy with the mince garlic, salt and black pepper. Next make a gravy.
Step 7 Making a gravy using a corn starch slurry. It’s when you dissolve corn starch with cold liquids to make a slurry. To the corn starch add 1/2 cup of beef stock or water and stir to dissolve it. Add 1 TBSP of black bean garlic sauce and stir again to dissolve it. Add it to the wok and let it thicken up into a gravy. Last you add some oyster sauce and stir it and turn off the heat.
Step 8 It’s time to combine it with the rice in the clay pot! Yes so you place the cooked onions, beef and boy choy on top of the rice in the clay pot. Then turn on the flame to a medium low to simmer for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it as it cooks. You can also put on a kitchen timer to remind you to go back and check on it. It should be all ready to eat after it’s been steaming for 20 minutes.
It’s a one pot type of dish just like casseroles. My family really loves clay pot dinners as it has delicious meaty immersed flavors. Rice and vegetables makes for a balanced meal. It’s easy to dish out and clean up, enjoy!