Don’t feel like going out for grocery shopping after a long day? Or are you eating alone for lunch/dinner? Or you just want to cook everything in one pot? Yes! This Cantonese rice bowl is great for quick meals. Lots of umami flavors from the shiitake mushroom and the sauce, and aroma from the dried shrimps and sausage make a great combination.
During the winter in my hometown Guangzhou, there were lots of food stands (大排档) selling clay pot rice on the street. It’s hard to resist since it’s cold outside. The piping hot rice is cooked in a tiny clay pot either over charcoal or gas stove, and then served immediately. This reminds me of Korean dolsot bibimbap. Both have a layer of crispy rice at the bottom.
I bought a few clay pots before but they didn’t last long since they crack easily if not used and maintained properly. Cooking rice in a clay pot is tricky. The rice could get grainy if it’s not soaked long enough or undercooked. It also gets burnt on the bottom if you forgot to keep an eye on it. So I decided to turn it into a pressure/rice cooker version.
Chinese people love to eat long grain rice, especially jasmine rice from Thailand. Once it’s almost cooked, you can smell the fragrance in the house and make you hungry for a big meal. Because of the rapid loss of aroma after harvest, it’s important to buy the ones that are labeled “new crop” in the same year. I prefer to buy rice in Asian grocery stores since you are more likely to get the freshly harvested rice. When you cook the jasmine rice in a rice cooker, there’s no need to soak before cooking. Specialized rice cookers like those made by Zojirushi or Cuckoo will program the temperature and steam time for you. Chinese people also love to use jasmine rice for fried rice.
You also can buy brown jasmine rice that is available in Asian markets. We often mix these two types of rice so you get the aromatic taste of the white jasmine rice and the buttery texture and nutritious benefits of the brown jasmine rice. If you do mix in brown jasmine rice, you do have to pre-soak the rice first for at least 1 hour.
Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong)
There’re many different types of Chinese sausages available in Chinese grocery stores. I usually buy the most traditional ones which are made with pork meat. Hong Kong and Guangzhou are well known for producing traditional sausage for hundreds of years. If you want to know where to buy it and what brands we recommend, check out this post.
- green peas
Soak the mushrooms and dried shrimps in water (420ml) for 1-2 hours. Gently squeeze out the liquid from the mushrooms and shrimps. Reserve the water for cooking rice. Dice mushrooms into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice the sausages. Mince the shrimps. Grate ginger using a grater.
Wash rice and rinse it at least 3 times until the water starts to clear. Use the water that was reserved earlier. Make sure there's enough water for the rice. See notes below for rice-to-water ratio.
For electric pressure cookers: use the "Browning" or "Saute" function and set to high heating level and add 1/2 tbsp oil. Add ginger, shrimps, sausage, and mushrooms to the pot. Keep stirring until it turns slightly brown. Transfer it to a bowl.
For rice cookers, pan fry the Chinese sausage, mushrooms and ginger with 1/2 tbsp oil in a skillet over high heat until it starts to brown.
Add the washed rice. Pour the water that was reserved earlier into the pressure cooker or rice cooker, and put the sausage and mushrooms on top. Cover with the lid, and use the preset of your cooker to cook/steam the rice.
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Pour it over the rice and mix until the sauce is incorporated. Garnish with green onions.
- Jasmine rice-to-water ratio is about 1:1.5. But the ratio varies depending on the brands and your personal preference.
- Chinese sausage is cured meat so it's high in sodium and hard. Cooking it with the rice will not only soften the sausage and lessen saltiness, but also give away some flavors to the rice.