Claypot Chicken Rice

claypot chicken rice | Delicacious

Dinner at home is typically 三菜一汤 (three dishes and one soup) on weekdays but lately, with the addition of an infant, we have been trying to simplify dinner. One dish meals seem to be the way to go and this claypot chicken rice is one of our favourite Chinese one dish meals. It uses simple ingredients, is fast to prepare (start to finish is just slightly more than an hour) and is definitely satisfying. Of course, it can’t beat claypot rice that is cooked over charcoal fire but this definitely comes close. My hubby loves scraping up the slightly charred crispy rice bits at the bottom of the claypot!

Here are some tips for preparing claypot chicken rice. Firstly, cooking times with a claypot would vary with the size of claypot and the fire used. I’ve given guidelines that work for my claypot in my recipe but you may wish to adjust the timing after you’ve tried the recipe for the first time. For the claypot, I’ve used a Tanyu flat bottom claypot, but you can use any seasoned claypot. Noobcook has some good advice on preparing a claypot for its first use here. I’ve adjusted the liquid amount for this recipe so that the rice is moist but not soggy. If you prefer the rice to be drier, you may wish to reduce the liquid amount further. Lastly, whenever possible, use a low sodium chicken stock. If using chicken stock cubes/packaged chicken stock, it would be advisable to use half water and half stock as the stock is usually rather salty.

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Steamed Clams with Sake and Soy

steamed clams with sake and soy

Doesn’t this photo of these succulent clams make you hungry? If you cannot resist ordering vongole everytime you see it on the menu, you must check out the very simple recipe on The Best Blog Recipes. That’s right! I’m a guest contributor to the blog from February to July. While you are there, check out the other fantastic recipes too!

Kong Ba Pau (Braised pork belly bun)

kong ba pau

Pork Belly. One of my husband’s greatest loves. He loves them served up on the Korean BBQ, in thin strips in steamboat and definitely, he loves them served up this way, in a bun. There are few people I know, who would willingly turn away Kong Ba Pau. There may be the initial hesitation over the layers of fats but the aroma of the braised pork belly will soon win you over. If it makes you feel better, pick the least fatty piece of pork belly and add an extra serving of lettuce. Now that should ease your guilty conscience a little, doesn’t it?

I do not naturally gravitate towards pork belly, but I do enjoy Kong Ba Pau occasionally. In the last two weeks, I’ve prepared this dish not once, but twice for gatherings with family and friends. The first time preparing it, the pork belly was a little drier than I would have liked it, because dear hubby kept the pork braising for 40 minutes (YES 40 minutes) longer than I asked him to. He felt that it was not “braised enough”. He quickly learnt that in cooking, longer does not neccessarily mean better. The second time round, the pork belly was perfectly braised and judging from the response at the dinner table that night, it was well received.

Even though the dish may sound tricky to prepare, it is really very simple. The only trick is to marinate the pork belly well. By well, I mean marinate it for a good 20 to 24 hours. That will ensure that all the flavourings are thoroughly absorbed into the pork belly. Most people preparing this dish will choose to use a large slab of pork belly, braise it and then slice it up for the buns. That works fine. For me, I used frozen sliced pork belly (because that was available readily), braised it for a slightly shorter time than I would a slab of pork belly and saved myself the trouble of slicing. The sliced pork belly also absorbs the marinate better. Both methods work fine – just do whichever works better for you.

Kong Ba Pau (Braised pork belly bun)
 
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 2 pieces of pork belly or about 500g of sliced pork belly
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise
  • 15 cloves
  • 10 pieces of garlic, smashed with its skin
  • 10 pieces of shallots, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp shao xing cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 2-3 pieces of small rock sugar
To serve
  • Coral lettuce
  • Leaf bun
Instructions
  1. Wash, clean and dry pork belly.
  2. In a large bowl, marinate pork belly with all the remaining ingredients except the oil and rock sugar.
  3. Cover and keep refrigerated for 18 -24 hours.
  4. In a large claypot with a flat bottom, heat 2 tbsp of oil.
  5. Add the rock sugar and saute the pork belly for about a minute on each side. (If using sliced pork belly, you can skip this step.)
  6. Add in the marinate and 4 - 5 tbsp of water.
  7. Allow the pork belly to simmer in the marinate for about 30 - 40 minutes.
  8. Remove when meat is tender.
  9. Slice and serve hot with lettuce and bun.

Bacon and Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Bacon and Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Chicken alfredo pasta is a staple that one sees at almost all pasta joints. If you walk along the pasta aisle in a supermarket, I can almost guarantee that you will find a bottle of ready-to-go alfredo sauce. In fact, many bottles of it, and different brands of it. It is THAT popular. I distinctively remember the day my mom bought a bottle of alfredo sauce and prepared pasta with it. I was young; my mom was working and didn’t have much time for meal preparations. Ready-made sauces were the best bet right? Wrong…. The sauce was floury, gloopy and tasted really bad. Now, I’m sure there are better tasting alfredo sauces out there now, but that experience was enough to stop me from ever, ever, ever buying a bottle of alfredo sauce. Why would I want to do it anyway when preparing alfredo sauce is so simple and quick?

Bacon chicken alfredo

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Salmon and Corn Chowder

Salmon and Corn Chowder | Delicacious

Are there days where you just crave a bowl of hot soup for dinner? I do so occasionally, especially on cold, rainy days. Or sometimes, it’s just me being lazy and trying to figure out a quick fix for dinner. Whatever your reason for wanting soup for dinner, this salmon and corn chowder is sure to satisfy.  It is hearty, healthy (I use low fat milk instead of cream), and tasty, and goes perfectly with biscuits or soft dinner rolls. Serve this with my bacon, parmesan and scallion scones and you will definitely have very happy people at the dinner table.

My little one came into the room while I was typing this post, saw the photo and exclaimed, “Oh I remember this soup! It’s full of corn, mushrooms and fish. It’s yummy! I like it.” There you go. Even two and a half year olds like it. I am sure you would too.

Salmon and Corn Chowder
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 stalks celery, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup of chopped scallions
  • 1½ cups corn kernels
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • 500g boneless salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • cornstarch and water for thickening (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over a medium flame.
  2. Sauteed celery and potato for about five minutes.
  3. Stir in corn, scallions and stock.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce flame to low and simmer covered for 12 - 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in milk and lemon zest.
  6. Add salmon and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in lemon juice.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Thicken with cornstarch water if preferred.
  10. Serve hot.
Notes
Adapted from Epicurious

I’m sharing this post at some of these blogs here.

Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)

Korean Army Stew | Delicacious

This week has been a week of gastric flu and common flu for the family. My little girl was down with a terrible bout of gastric flu and had been vomiting and having diarrhea since Tuesday. Then on Friday, my dear husband started complaining of sore throat. Not good at all. I was tired from the lack of sleep and did not feel really feel like cooking dinner. Then I recalled the delicious pictures of Korean Army Stew that a friend had posted on Facebook recently. And the whole discussion of Spam that followed those pictures – the stew contains Spam. (Are you a secret fan of Spam?) Dinner was decided – Korean Army Stew it shall be.

Korean Army Stew | Delicacious

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Bacon Parmesan and Scallion Scones

bacon parmesan scallion scones | Delicacious

This post is dedicated to all you bacon lovers out there. Yes, this post on BACON, parmesan and scallion scones. Don’t you just hear it calling your name? Wait. A savoury scone? YES. A savoury scone. Surely scones don’t have to be served sweet, with clotted cream and jam? I think not. I would like to think that the addition of bacon to scones (or to anything) makes it perfect. For those who still like their scones sweet, I’m happy to report that I crisped the bacon with some brown sugar. Add some parmesan and scallions and there you have it – the perfect meal all in a scone. Are you convinced yet?

bacon parmesan scallion scones | Delicacious

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