Monday, October 21, 2013

New obsession...the Chinese Clay Pot

I have a new obsession, the Chinese Clay pot.  I also have what might be a obstruction to my success in Clay pot cooking, that being my ceramic cook top. 

I have researched and read pros and cons and the people who said "it's no problem, use it" and those who wrote dire warnings about a culinary Apocalypse if I attempt it.

I HAVE to make the clay pot rice, rice, a little ground beef and some spices?  Oh yeah, I need that in my house.  I need it in my house TODAY.

I don't have much but I do have $12 and I am going to buy a clay pot today and will be venturing into spotlit glory or impending doom later this afternoon. 

I LOVE this!

I've morphed a quick recipe from what I read that came with the pot and some net searches and this is 

Tracy's Clay Pot Beef and Rice (Chinese inspired)

1/2 lb ground meat (I'll use pork next time)
1 1/2 cup short grain rice (I'll use slightly less next time)
1 Tblspn oil
green onions
soy sauce
(or garlic ginger paste)
rice wine
oyster sauce
whatever other flavorings you love

SOAK the clay pot, completely submerged in water for a while (I soaked mine about an hour)  I truly didn't want it to explode on my cooktop.  Oh and "spoiler alert"  it didn't.

IN a blue bowl, mix the ground meat and whatever spices you like, add a little water and squish it around and leave it.  (mmm, the raw meat shot)

In the soaked pot, put about a Tblspn of oil and some salt, then add the rice and enough water to cover the rice by about half an inch.  That, in my house, is my thumb nail ;)
Put the lid on the clay pot and leave it about 15 minutes.  Turn the heat on and bring the pot to a boil (time to peek)
Ok, it's doing SOMEthing, this is looking good.  After it boils about 4 minutes, reduce the heat and leave it another 4 minutes.
At the end of the 8 minutes boil/simmer time, spread the meat on top of the rice.  It's super easy, just sort of grab blobs (culinary meat term) and put it on the rice.  It spreads really easily. Pop the lid on for about 15 minutes, till the meat is cooked.
This is delicious and tastes and smells like every Chinese restaurant I've ever been in.  The rice is a little chewy and tender at the same time.  The meat is soft and flavorful. I will play around with the spices and flavors as I continue on my Clay Pot quest.
It made a TON of food for 1/2 lb of ground beef.  Mum, Connor and I all ate from the pot and there was a little left for Connor's lunch.  

I think this is definitely worth my $12 investment from World Market.  I love this thing.  I'm going to try chicken and pork and maybe shrimp in here.  I think a little fry up of the meat first would also add a neat flavor element.  Yeah, I will be playing in my kitchen with this new toy.

There was some crispy (stuck) rice on the bottom, I like to eat that part (mmmm crispy) For those who are not a fan of the crispy bit, it came up fine with a soak.  I think this pot will work just fine so long as it's not subjected to extreme temperature changes.  I say NAY to the nay-sayers, you most certainly CAN use a clay pot on a glass cooktop successfully.  

OH and as a weird aside, 2 hours later, the rice was still WARM as it sat on my countertop.  Not hot but definitely warm and eatable.  This also might be a decent thing to do for my "I won't be home till 11pm" husband who insists on microwaving the food I cook.  Hmmmm, I think he needs his OWN clay pot. 

Now, I hear you can do noodles in it too...

Go get one of these, it's fun, different and makes a meal a little bit different than the usual stir fry.  I still can't believe that little bit of meat flavored all that rice so beautifully... yeah, we are happy on this one.



  1. Thanks so much for this post and photos! I've been curious as to how this would work on a ceramic stove top and was unable to find answers online but your pictures really do show that it's possible.

    1. That's why I had to test it out myself and blog it, i couldn't find the answer either. We CAN do it though, yay us! :D I'm glad I could help :D

  2. Did you ever come up with more recipes for the clay pot? I am considering getting one but would like more of your culinary input before I do that.

    1. that's creepy... i'm working on a couple now and haven't told anyone :D