Food and cooking, Lifestyle

(Chinese) Smoked Oyster Rice

I’m not sure if this recipe is something really traditionally Chinese, or whether it is just something that my mum made-up for us.  I Googled it… and the recipes that came up were not quite the same.  Again, I figure it is Chinese, because I make it, and I’M Chinese.  Ha ha.  [Not sure if the same rule applies if I cook a (Chinese) steak or a (Chinese) meat pie ;D – ha ha ha ha ha!! ]

When I was a kid, I HATED green beans.  I don’t know why, but I remember the taste of them made me gag (I must admit, that I still don’t love them but will eat them if they are covered in gravy or a buttery sauce). I did however LOVE this dish, and somehow when cooked this way could eat them with no problems!

My mum used to make this recipe just in a normal rice cooker.  I suppose it is a bit like a risotto… except she used to make it with just normal long-grain or jasmine rice, not arborio (risotto) rice.  I make mine in my pressure cooker and I literally set it for 11 minutes (that’s an auto preset on the cooker itself… I’m not that OCD – ha ha!) and walk away. No need to stir!

There are a couple of differences to this recipe as opposed to my mum’s.  The main one is that she used to use dried, smoked oysters.  When mum was still around, I used to get my dried smoked oysters for this recipe from her, and now she’s gone I have no idea where to buy them!  I assume that you would be able to get them from a good Chinese grocery store but to be fair – I haven’t really looked that hard.  I just get canned, smoked oysters in oil/spring water from the supermarket now and use those.

More recently I tried substituting one cup of stock, with a can of coconut milk.  It was a really nice variation and just added another layer of flavour to the dish as well as a creaminess that it lacked when I just used stock.  I’ll be doing that again.

 

INGREDIENTS

  1. 100g (about 10-15) dried, smoked oysters (the last time I cooked this I used 3-4 cans of smoked oysters from the supermarket – those flat sardine-tin-shaped cans)
  2. 30g dried scallops (these are pretty pricey and hard to find in the Asian grocery stores!)
  3. 1 tab of dried shrimp (you can replace the dried scallops for an equivalent quantity of shrimp if you like)
  4. 200g chopped pork belly (I have also substituted diced chicken thigh and bacon – good but not as nice)
  5. 200g chopped green beans
  6. 3 spring onions
  7. 1 small brown onion diced
  8. 6 cloves of garlic – crushed or chopped finely
  9. 5cm ginger – microplaned
  10. 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
  11. A couple of shakes of sesame oil
  12. A splash of soy (maybe one tbs?)
  13. 1/4 cup of Shao Xing cooking wine (optional)
  14. 1 tin of light coconut milk
  15. Chicken stock to make up total liquid volume to 3.5-4 cups (counting your oyster soaking liquid if you’re using dry oysters, the cooking wine, and the liquid from the tin if you are using canned ones); you can also use beef stock or half:half, it makes the dish richer and changes the flavour quite a bit and can be nice for a change.
  16. 2 cups of jasmine or long grain rice (I like to mix 50:50 jasmine and brown rice)

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried oysters by just covering them in a small bowl with boiling water for 1 hour – drain and reserve the liquid. Cut the large oysters in half
  2. Heat a work with oil and fry the ginger/garlic/onion and half the spring onions until aromatic
  3. Add the pork belly/meat and cook till browned, add beans and put all into pressure cooker
  4. Dry fry the rice until toasted in the fry pan/wok.  Transfer to the pressure cooker and mix thoroughly
  5. Add the sesame oil and soy
  6. Add your 4 cups total of liquid (oyster soaking water, stock, coconut milk)
  7. Cook in pressure cooker for 8-11 minutes or in a standard rice cooker on a usual white rice (~20 min) cycle

 

Definitely one of my favourite dishes.  You can make it your own… add lup cheong (Chinese sausage) or other veggies if you like.  This is just the way I make it, and pretty close to the way my mum made it for me.

I hope you give it a go and love it.

Till Monday, eat up!

xx Dr Megs

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