My sister loves claypot. I am amenable to claypot, but I’ve not had it a lot, always having given preference to chicken rice and laksa and noodle soups and things. A week or two ago I had claypot at Utopia and it was disappointing, the soup thickened with cornstarch and the flavour sort of bland. Claypot is at its best when the soup is rich and well-flavoured, but not strongly flavoured.
This is more of a cheater claypot than anything, and I had planned to submit this to No Croutons Required, except by the time I was finished it was more like noodles and vegetables in sauce than the required vegetables in soup.
(cheater) claypot noodles
The joy of a claypot is in the soaking, as the claypot bakes, the juices and sauce soak in to the contents of the claypot, covering and filling everything with a thick, tasty gravy. To that end, I like to use wonton noodles because of the way they soak in the sauce. Try to avoid rice noodles, as they will fall apart during extended soaking process.
half a pack of wonton noodles
one shallot (sliced)
one cube of ginger, minced
one clove garlic, minced
one red chilli, sliced
handful of snake beans (tops and tails removed, cut into halves or thirds)
one carrot (julienne)
quarter capsicum, in fine slices
half bunch of kai lan or bok choi (or both) (stalks off, leaves halved)
100 to 200 grams of firm tofu (or fried tofu)
two cups of stock
three or four dashes of dark soy
five or six dashes of Vegetarian oyster sauce
bean shoots (tailed)
Prepare the wonton noodles. Don’t over cook them! When they are ready, remove from heat, submerge in cold water, then drain. Put in claypot, put bean shoots on top, and shake in a dash or two of oyster sauce and a little pepper. Mix through.
In the meantime, in a little peanut oil fry the shallot and the ginger. Add the garlic, chilli, capsicum, beans and carrot. After frying for a minute or two, add a teaspoon of water to the wok, then cover with lid. After five or so minutes, or when the beans have started to soften, add the kai lan stalks and some extra water if necessary. Cover again with lid for another few minutes, then add kai lan leaves and tofu, as well as a dash or three of oyster sauce, a dash of dark soy, and some sesame oil. Add lid again, leave for five minutes. Pour entire mixture into claypot, as well as about a cup of stock. Mix all ingredients together.
Bake in oven at 190C for 20 minutes.