For the ultimate slow-cooked dishes this winter, it’s time to revive the ancient art of claypot cooking. Used in China, Thailand, Vietnam and beyond, the claypot is the perfect way to cook a delicious meal. These sturdy clay vessels have rounded bases to allow them to sit snugly over a low flame, and their thick walls gently conduct the heat, making them ideal for slow braises, hot pots and soups. Seafood and chicken dishes are particularly suited to claypot cooking. Trawl second-hand stores or your local Asian market for a claypot, then experiment with these authentic claypot recipes from across Asia.
A traditional dish in Vietnam, ca kho to is caramelised fish cooked in a claypot. This sticky, rich recipe hails from the Mekong Delta, where catfish and other freshwater fish are commonly used. In Australia, seek out firm white fish such as ling or blue-eye, and be sure to cut the fish into large chunks to ensure it doesn’t break up while cooking.
Originating from the street stalls of Hong Kong, claypot rice is a popular winter treat across Asia. Diners love the homestyle comfort of this warming dish of rice studded with chicken, lap cheong sausage, pork belly and mushrooms – the best part is the crunchy bits of rice that stick to the base of the pot, so don’t let them go to waste!
Perfect for cold nights, this rib-sticking recipe for chicken and tofu hot pot is packed with feel-good protein and nutritious winter vegetables. It’s lightly seasoned with soy, pepper, ginger and chicken stock to allow the fresh ingredients to shine.
Thai cooks love using their claypots for soups as it provides a gentle heat for delicate aromatics such as lemongrass and kaffir lime. A classic example is this tom yum seafood, a spicy, vibrant broth loaded with prawns, calamari, mussels and fish.
Before you get started, be sure to read our expert tips on using and caring for your claypot.
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