Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Classic Chinese chicken rice with Lap Cheong (Chinese cured sausage)

We had a gentle visit by an Alberta Clipper, it was 3*F past weekend. After all these years here in the upper mid-west, I learned how to deal with it. I don't complain about the cold much any more. I choose to live it, there is nothing much to complain about. Plus it's January, it's winter

With days like this, I love comfort food. Here is a classic Chinese winter dish that my family used to make. In Asia, this would be made in a clay pot and it gives the rice that lovely slight toasty flavor. I have a couple of those clay pot, but I chose to cook the rice dish in a regular, the clean up is much easier.

I am using Jasmine rice here, you can use Japanese short-grain rice. I would not recommend using American rice, the texture is not quite right with this. You can make this in a rice cooker. Here is a little secret about me... I am terrible with the rice cooker. The rice never comes out quite right for me.   I learned to cook rice from my All-American ex-husband. When my then husband  found out I didn't know how to cook rice. He was so surprised, I still remembered how he stared at me and said: "What kind of Chinese are you? You can't make rice!!" He made me practice making rice till I get it right, he said I needed to represent my "people". He lived in Hawai'i, he learned the Asian "knuckle water measuring" method from one of his Vietnamese girlfriend...

The sausage I used here is a "lean" version. It is made with chicken instead of pork. I made a dark soy sauce to top off the rice, it's Singaporean style. You can find the sausage, dark soy in most Asian store such as United Noodles here is Minneapolis. The sausage is usually in the refrigerated case and the dark soy is in the Chinese section.

You can use different protein in this. I may make a vegetarian version next weekend since my yoga teacher is back form Hawai'i. I have someone help me eat!!

Chinese Chicken Rice with Lap Cheong Sausage

3-4 skinless and boneless chicken thigh, cleaned, excess fat removed. Cut into 1" bite size pieces
2 Chinese Lap Cheong, I am using a chicken version. Washed
1 1/2cups jasmine rice
About 1 3/4 cups water
Chicken marinade:
1" piece of ginger, peeled
3-4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or Sherry
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp grounded dry ginger
salt and pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp sesame oil

Chopped green onion
Cilantro - roughly chopped
Fried shallots

Using a ginger grinder, grind about 3/4" of the ginger. Set aside

In small bowl, mix together the marinade,
squeeze the juice from the grind ginger in to the marinade. Discard the dry ginger.
Add the marinade to the chicken and set aside in the fridge to season for about 15-30 mins.
Cut the washed sausage in diagonal pieces

Place the washed rice in a largo pot. Add water and check the water level by the Knuckle method: Level the rice in the pot , the water should come up to the first joint of your knuckle. Same method apples to the rice cooker.
Bring the rice to a boil over medium high heat uncover. Add chicken and sausage, 

Stir the meat into the rice
Lower heat to low, then cover. Let the rice cook for about 20 mins. Turn off the heat, do not open the cover and let it steam for about 10 additional mins. Fluffy the rice with a fork.
Transfer the rice to a clay pot or casserole.
Drizzle with soy sauce, top with green onion, cilantro and fried shallots, or you can serve the garnish on the side and let everyone choose how much topping one would like!
Serve 6 as an entree


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