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clay pot rice


When my brother was about 2 years old, one of his favorite foods was chicken drumsticks. My parents would hand one to him, and say “hold it!” in Chinese (zha zhu). For the rest of his toddler-hood, he’d request a “hold it!” when he wanted his favorite food.

Clay pot rice holds another similar memory for me: we grew up having white rice with dinner every day, which wasn’t the most exciting food for a child. Occasionally, my mom made clay pot rice with dried fish and Chinese sausage, and just a splash of soy sauce — which perfumed the rice with a subtle, savory fragrance. I used to eat second servings of just the crispy rice from the bottom of the pot. Hence, yao mei fan (directly translates to “flavorful rice”) a phrase my brother and I coined, was born. I don’t think I knew the real translation of clay pot rice (bo zhai fan) until I was a teenager.

My version of clay pot rice isn’t traditional — I love cooking the sauce into the rice (as opposed to putting it on after the rice is cooked), but that’s my preference! The flavors are deeper and richer than what you’d typically get with a traditional clay pot rice.

Remember that you can customize this dish with your favorite ingredients! Cured pork belly (lahp yook) is something I wish I had on hand. Experiment and make it your own :)

Please note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.



clay pot rice

Clay Pot Rice

A slightly untraditional way of making Chinese clay pot rice, where the sauce is infused into the rice before cooking instead of poured on after. My personal favorite way to make this dish!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3


  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Chinese sausage
  • 3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce optional
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil

Chicken marinade

  • 1 large chicken thigh bones removed, skin is optional
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp white sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • white pepper optional



Prepare the ingredients

  • Rinse the dried shiitake mushrooms. Add to a bowl with hot water, and cover until rehydrated. Once rehydrated, save the liquid, and slice the mushrooms into strips. Discard any tough stems.
    3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Cut your chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces, and place into a bowl with salt, soy sauce, sugar, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch, and sprinkle of white pepper (optional). Mix well, cover, and let sit for 20 min.
    1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, ½ tbsp white sugar, 1 ½ tbsp Shaoxing wine, ½ tbsp cornstarch, white pepper, 1 large chicken thigh
  • Slice the Chinese sausage into diagonal ovals.
    1 Chinese sausage
  • Wash your rice until the water mostly clear, drain, and set aside.
    1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • Heat up a skillet on low-medium heat, and add neutral oil. When the oil is hot, add minced garlic and ginger, and stir fry for 1-2 mins or until fragrant.
    3-4 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp neutral oil, 1 inch piece of ginger
  • Add sliced Chinese sausage, and cook for another minute. Add marinated chicken, and cook until halfway done, about 2-3 minutes.
    1 Chinese sausage
  • Add sliced shiitake mushrooms. The pan should be a bit sticky by now from the marinade and aromatics. To deglaze the pan, add in Shaoxing wine, and scrape the pan lightly with a wooden utensil to lift these up.
    1 ½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • Let the Shaoxing wine cook and reduce (1 min). Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Replace your skillet with your clay pot (or any small, heavy-bottomed pot), and turn on heat to medium. Add the chicken, sausage, and mushroom mixture, and add the uncooked, washed rice. Mix well.
  • If you like your rice extra flavorful like I do, add oyster sauce, and a small splash of soy sauce to the mixture.
    1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Add a total of 1 cup (+ 2 tbsp) of either chicken broth or mushroom liquid (from rehydration), or a combination of both (my choice). Stir everything in the pot, and let it come to a boil.
    1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Once it’s boiling, cover with the lid, and turn heat to lowest setting. Rice should be done in about 20 minutes (don’t uncover the lid before then!).
  • Once the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the heat, add a small dash of sesame oil and handful of sliced scallions, and mix well. If the rice looks too dry, add a bit more broth or water, mix and cover to let cook for a few more minutes.
    sesame oil, scallions
  • (Optional) For extra crispy rice, drizzle neutral oil around the inside perimeter of the pot, and cover for another few minutes to let the rice crisp up.
Keyword clay pot rice
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  1. Hi! I just wanted to let you know that you’ll need to fix the formatting for this recipe. I’m looking forward to trying this one out!

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