Clay-pot chicken and mushroom rice with chilli and garlic sauce

Clay-pot chicken and mushroom rice with chilli and garlic sauce

Chinese Unchopped
20 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Martin Poole

Steam in cooking does not always have to come from water boiling in a pan. In this Hong Kong dish the steam is created from the rice, and there is an art to getting the chicken into it at the right time in order to have it cook through perfectly and give you the textures you’ll want – a crispy layer of rice on the bottom of the pot, followed by fluffy, steamed rice in the middle and succulent meat on top.


Quantity Ingredient
400g boned, skinless chicken thighs
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and drained, (see note)
280g jasmine rice
340ml water
a thumb-size piece ginger
1 spring onion
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

The marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour

Chilli and garlic sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled but kept whole
6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  1. To make the chilli and garlic sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chilli and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add the soy sauce and sugar to the pan, bring to a boil and cook for a further 30 seconds, until the sauce has caramelised slightly but is still runny. Pour into a ramekin ready for later.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into 5mm slices and put in a bowl. Cut the drained, soaked mushrooms into fine slices and add to the chicken slices. Add the marinade ingredients to the bowl and, using your hands, rub them together until all the marinade has been absorbed.
  3. Rinse the rice 2–3 times to get rid of any excess starch, then drain the rice through a sieve. Measure out the water for cooking in a jug. Finely slice the ginger and spring onion.
  4. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place your ginger at 12 o’clock, then arrange the rice, water, marinated chicken bowl and spring onion clockwise around your plate.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil to a medium heat in a clay pot or heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the slices of ginger to the oil and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Add the washed rice to the pan and fry it in the oil for 1 minute, stirring to coat the grains evenly, then pour over the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, add the chicken and mushroom mix and cook, covered, over a low heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and check that the chicken is cooked (it should be light brown or white in colour, with no pink), and that the rice has formed a crisp, golden brown layer on the bottom of the pan. If it needs it, leave it to cook for a few minutes longer.
  8. Once cooked, spoon into bowls and garnish with the spring onion. Serve with the chilli and garlic sauce.


  • To rehydrate dried mushrooms, cover them in 300ml hot water and leave to soak for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight). Drain them before using, reserving the soaking water for use in your recipe, if necessary.


  • If you hear light ‘crackling’ noises from the base of the pan during the last stage of cooking, this is a good sign that the rice is crisping up on the bottom of the pan. If, however, you smell burning, turn the hob off at this point and serve immediately!
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