I love serving meat and rice meals which have been cooked in a traditional Chinese claypot. The concentrated flavours percolate down into the rice, and the variety of options is endless. Here, I've mixed crab and chicken, but any well-marinated meat will blow your socks off using this technique. If you don't have a claypot, just use a regular casserole with a snug lid.
400g long-grain rice, washed
600ml chicken stock
4 skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into 4-5cm chunks
1 Chinese sausage (lap cheong), sliced
6 dried black shiitake mushrooms, soaked, simmered until cooked, quartered
4cm piece fresh ginger, julienned
100g cooked crab meat
1 spring onion, green and white parts, julienned
For the marinade
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp sesame oil
3 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp light soy sauce
3 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
1. Put the rice and stock in the pot, cover and cook over low heat – using a diffuser if you're using a claypot* – for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, mix together all the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken, mixing well.
3. Spread the marinated chicken (including the marinade), Chinese sausage, mushroom and ginger on top of the rice. Cover and cook for a further 9 minutes.
4. Place the cooked crab on top and cook for a further minute to heat through.
5. Mix everything through the rice, sprinkle with the spring onion and serve.
*Tips: If you're using a claypot for the first time, be sure to soak it in water for 24 hours before you start – this will stop it from cracking – and use a heat diffuser while cooking to evenly distribute the heat across the bottom (earthenware vessels don't like sudden temperature changes). Allow the pot to cool down before putting it in the fridge at the end of the meal. Similarly, before reheating leftovers the next day, give the pot time to come to room temperature before placing it over heat.
Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.