Claypot Rice at the School of Wok:
In the last few years, I’ve been to quite a few cookery classes at the School of Wok. A favourite of mine, I particularly enjoy the classes there – many of the techniques are ones I still use, many of the recipes are accessible. Each time I visit we seem to make something I’ve never tried before. Even basics like egg fried rice take on a new level when I’ve learnt the proper technique
The Hong Kong Tourism Board invited a few food and travel bloggers along to showcase the diversity of food in Hong Kong as well as letting us into a few secrets. Who better to demonstrate than Jeremy Pang, owner of the School of Wok – apart from a whole series of food videos he’s also been learning kung fu in Hong Kong – so I’m not planning on starting a row with him any time soon.
Although perhaps he needs a few more lessons first…
His introduction to claypot rice had us all drooling and while it’s probably NOT a celebratory dish for Chinese New Year, I’m imagining it as the kind of dish you might eat after a period of feasting when what you need is simple comfort food.
Learning how to make this particular dish and then getting to eat the result was the highlight of the evening for me. It is actually not a difficult recipe – with a short list of ingredients most of which will already be in your store cupboard. The end result is Hong Kong comfort food – perfect for a British climate. A dish that can be varied, you can easily make your own versions with vegetables only, fish or red meat instead of the chicken. It’s a well-balanced meal – the rice is cooked with a little oil, but the meat and vegetables steam on top of And, it’s visually quite stunning because the meat and vegetables sit on top of the rice layers.
- 200 g Chicken thighs
- 5 Chinese mushrooms dried
- 1 piece Fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 cups Jasmine Rice
- 2-3 teaspoons Sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Light soy sauce
- 1 shot Rice wine or brandy
- 1 teaspoon Corn flour
- 1 pinch Sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the mushrooms for at least 2-3 hours, then slice thinly
- Debone the chicken thighs and dice
- Finely chop the ginger
- Put the chicken in a medium bowl and add the ginger
- Add all the marinade ingredients and the mushrooms. Mix well
- Wash the rice thoroughly
- Start to cook the rice in a medium claypot or heavy based casserole. Use a little less water than you might normally - about 1 1/2 cups of water to every cup of rice, together with a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Without covering the pan, bring the mixture to the boil
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the chicken mix on top. Do not stir!
- Cover the pan and turn the heat to low.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes on a very low heat to avoid burning the rice.
- The rice should have a crispy golden brown bottom layer followed by a fluffy top.
- Serve in the clay pot with a bowl of sweetened soy sauce on the side (2 part sugar to 3 parts soy and a little chilli to taste)
If you don’t have a suitable claypot, a heavy-based casserole or saucepan will work just as well.
We also learnt how to make Jiaozi (little fried dumplings) and Hong Kong noodles. And, by the time everything was ready to eat, I was too hungry to take many photos! A real testament to the food…
New to Hong Kong, though not to Asia, I was spellbound by the videos we watched. I was fascinated by the diversity and concentration of excellent street food and cafes in the City and particularly impressed to learn of the Hong Kong pals. A free of charge programme from the Tourism board, visitors can team up with volunteers to get an authentic insight into what might otherwise be something of a maze. Specially selected volunteers provide insider knowledge – you can even ask for someone who has expert knowledge about your own passion, be that food, heritage or photography. A vibrant and eclectic City where tradition and modernity are blended seamlessly.