Claypot is an essential Malaysian cooking style. Cooking in the claypot gives your dish an interesting extra flavour, and it means you can transfer straight from the stove to the oven without a dish transfer, which helps retain all of those awesome flavours. Claypot is quite common at the hawker stalls, and it is awesome. My favourite claypot dish is claypot noodles, but yesterday I thought I'd try a veganised version of an old favourite, claypot chicken rice, combining two of my hometown favourites (chicken rice, and claypot) into the one dish. For this I made a claypot tofu rice. This used the rich flavours of claypot cooking, in conjunction with the simple ginger and soy freshness of the usual chicken rice recipe.
claypot tofu rice
Claypot rice is often garnished with spring onions, but I use them so rarely it seemed a waste to buy an entire bushel just for this one dish. If you don't have a claypot, you can use a pot with a tight lid, or a rice cooker.
1 cake firm tofu
2 cups rice
2 tbl dark soy sauce
2 tbl light soy sauce
2 tbl vegetarian oyster sauce
1 hunk of ginger (fresh ginger is essential to this dish)
half a teaspoon of caster sugar
quarter tsp of powdered stock
half a dozen dried mushroom pieces
a handful of wombok/chinese cabbage leaves (thickly sliced)
some carrot (julienned)
Combine one tablespoon of dark soy, one tablespoon of light soy, and two tablespoons of oyster sauce, with half a teaspoon of castor sugar, a shake of ground pepper, and a quarter of a tablespoon of powdered stock. Into this marinade add about a centimetre of ginger, crushed. Combine well, until things which are powdered have dissolved. Slice up the tofu into chunks of about ten cm in length, and cover in marinade. Allow to marinate for half an hour to an hour.
Soak the mushrooms in hot water for twenty minutes.
After the mushrooms have soaked, it is time to prepare the rice! Rinse the rice. Then add two cups of water, plus a teaspoon of dark soy, a teaspoon of light soy, a shake of pepper, and a shake of sesame oil. Julienne some ginger finely, and add this as well. Start to cook, lid on.
In the meantime, lightly fry the tofu in a little peanut oil. Be sure to fry both sides. Drain the mushrooms, and add this, then add the carrots for another half a minute. The carrot won't be cooked, but that's okay at this point.
After the rice has been cooking for about seven or eight minutes, it should have just started looking 'dry.' Throw the tofu, mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage on the top, then put the lid back on and keep cooking for another fifteen minutes. After the rice is cooked right through, leave to sit, still with the lid on, for another twenty minutes. This will give the flavours a chance to seep in.
Serve in the claypot, if you've prepared it that way, or in bowls.
This is a submission for the It's a Vegan World: Malaysian blogging event. How could I resist blogging about Malaysia? (ans: I could not)