Thursday, January 16, 2014

Claypot Rice in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

If you know me at all you, you know that I love and need my white rice. But what I love more than a steaming hot bowl of white rice is a claypot filled with white rice and doused with soy sauce. Soy sauce is another thing that I need in my life because life without the ever versatile soy sauce would just be... bland. But what makes claypot rice special is the fact that the rice is cooked in a claypot directly over a flame. The result is an extremely aromatic pot of rice plus an irresistable slightly burnt crispy bottom rice layer.  

Here are some favorites:
- Chinese sausage- smoked, seasoned, and preserved 
- Chinese bacon- preserved pork belly 
- Preserved duck leg
- Mushroom and slippery chicken
- Yellow eel
- Minced beef and egg

But the real secret to a delicious claypot rice is not the rice or the ingredients. It's the soy sauce. Specialty claypot rice restaurants would never just serve you soy sauce out of the bottle. Their sauces are specially simmered with sugar and spices such as star anise. It really makes all the difference. 

Though claypot rice is a much celebrated winter food, you can easily get it year round. It's hearty, savory, satisfying, and I can eat it every day. I love all types of comfort food, and this is the ultimate Chinese comfort food. Please don't tell my professors. 

Temple Street is a famous street in Kowloon known for its nightmarket and fortune tellers, but if you veer away from the Jordan side to Yau Ma Tei, there are several restaurants for claypot rice that are packed any season. Below are photos from Hing Kee, also known for their heavily deep fried oyster pancakes. Enjoy the photos! 

When it arrives, pour on the soy sauce, then let it self steam a bit before mixing it up!

This is the best photo you will see in awhile. #foodporn

Oyster pancake!

I love anything cooked in claypots. Here's a preserved mustard green braised pork belly.

Here's the aromatic lining of slight burnt crispy rice. 

Hing Kee
15 Temple Street
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon 

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