Before my Mom came to visit, she sent a care package full of foodie goodies, and instructed me to save them for when she comes to visit.
I knew exactly what that meant – Mama’s gonna cook for me! In the package were Chinese Preserved Pork Belly and Chinese Sausage.
Sure enough, Mom announced she was making “Chinese Clay Pot Rice” for dinner the day after she arrived!
Normally, a clay pot is used (duh! hence the name) but since I didn’t have a clay pot (broke mine during the move) – we decided to experiment with making Chinese Clay Pot Rice in the rice cooker (shortcut cheater method) and also on the stovetop in a heavy-bottomed pot (like cast iron or Le Creuset). This type of pot will ensure that the rice cooks evenly and does not burn.
There’s a a fine line between “crispy” and “burnt” rice! If you’re using a clay pot or a pot on a stove, you can get a really nice bottom crust (the best part!) that all the kids fight over.
The homemade Chinese Sweet Soy Sauce that is poured over the rice. Everything is super-easy to cook. The sauce takes 5 minutes to make. The Chinese Pork Belly and Chinese Sausage cook with the rice in the same pot.
The Chinese Cured Pork Belly or “Chinese Style Cured Pork Strips” by Kam Yen Jan is what we used. It’s actually a preserved and cured ingredient (kind of like Chinese version of smoked bacon!) so just like the Chinese sausage, it keeps for several months in the refrigerator (as long as you don’t open the package).
They are both found at Asian markets.
Watch the video to learn how to make Mom’s Chinese Lay Pot Rice Recipe with Sweet Soy Sauce!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Recipe from Mama Ruthie! There are 2 versions of this recipe below - one for cooking on the stovetop and one for cooking in the rice cooker. The rice cooker method won't give you the super-coveted crispy burnt rice on the bottom of the pot - but it is definitely much easier to make.
You can find Chinese pork belly and Chinese sausage at the Asian market - they last for a long time! Buy a couple of packages and keep in the refrigerator. The Chinese rice wine is cooking wine made from rice. Substitute with dry sherry.
1. Make the Sweet Soy Sauce:
Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat with cooking oil. When hot, add in the shallot and the ginger and fry until browned but not burnt, approximately 3-5 minutes. The shallots should be shriveled, darker brown (just not black). Remove the shallots and ginger (as much as you can). The remaining oil will now be flavorful. Don't throw away the crispy shallots! Use this as a topping for salad, fried rice, vegetables, etc. The ginger can be discarded.
To the oil, add in the sugar, soy sauce and rice wine. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and pour in the sesame oil. Let cool completely before storing in a jar. Lasts up to 4 months in refrigerator.
2. Make the Clay Pot Rice
IF COOKING IN RICE COOKER
Place the rice in the rice cooker pot. Fill pot halfway with water and use your hands to swish the rice. Carefully pour out the water. Repeat 2-3 more times until the water is just barely cloudy. Pour in water until it reaches your knuckle. Use this Chinese method to measure water. Lay in the Chinese sausage and pork belly strips. Set rice cooker to cook. When cooking complete, remove pork belly and Chinese sausage and slice thinly on the diagonal. Serve with rice Sweet Soy Sauce drizzled on top.
IF COOKING ON STOVETOP
To the pot (preferably clay, cast iron, enameled cast iron or some kind of heavy-bottomed pot), add in the pork belly and Chinese sausage. Turn the heat to medium-high. As the pot heats up, the pork and sausage will slowly begin to release its fats (yum!). Cook for 2 minutes, then flip the pork and sausage and cook the other side. Remove the pork and sausage to a plate. You should have about a tablespoon of delicious fat in your pot! Add in your raw rice to the pot (still on medium-high heat) gently stir the raw rice in the fat for 30 seconds until coated. Pour in 3 cups of water and snuggle in the pork belly and sausage in the rice. Bring to a low boil. Turn heat to low and immediately cover. Cook for 12 minutes. When done cooking, pork belly and Chinese sausage and slice thinly on the diagonal. Serve with rice and Sweet Soy Sauce drizzled on top.