As the temperatures continue to sink, my interests in making clay pot rice have grown continually. I truly enjoy how it helps warm my kitchen and cook rice to the perfect texture.
To us Chinese, a good pot of rice should be evenly cooked, fluffy yet not mushy, and and each grain of cooked rice should remain in good shape isn t this sounds like al dente? My preferred way of al dente, however, is to have the grain cooked through than firm at the core.
With a clay pot, apart from having some smoky flavor infused from the vessel, I may even make my rice with a nice crusty layer at the bottom. What I need is to char the pot of rice over a very gentle heat plus a spoonful of oil at the right time.
That little trick of adding oil helps not only making the step easier, quicker, but also no fuss. Besides, there will be no sticking to the bottom. To produce crust all over the bottom (my gas stove on low heat has flame concentrated on one spot), I even shifted the position of my clay pot so that every part of its base had more or less equal contact with the flame.
In case you like cooking rice without crust, then it is not necessary to limit yourself to the use of a clay pot. My cast iron and heavy-bottom stainless pot have both proved to be efficient too.
Cooking rice with a pot is simple in every way and yet it is hard for me to commit the steps to details as I have been doing them like reflexes (after repeating it for years). Still I d love to try to walk you through as much as I could. The key point is, observation is important especially if this way is new to you because regulating heat at the right moments is crucial in making a good pot of rice.