February 16, 2018

Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice 臘味飯

Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice 臘味飯

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
By Published: 2018-02-16
No better time than the middle of winter, on the cusp of the Chinese New Year, to indulge in this most gorgeous and traditional of Cantonese dishes, the Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice  臘味飯, an all in one concoction of rice piled with traditional Chinese preserved meats, also known as Lap Mei 臘味, and then cooked in a clay pot to tender crusty perfection.  The oils from the preserved meats infuse the rice with fragrant and soul satisfying tastiness while the bottom crust of the rice is cooked until golden and crunchy.  This is one of our favorite dishes for the cold days of winter, not only is it a great all in one dinner and super yummilicious to boot, but it also provides that kind of rich, meaty, stomach filling feeling that one needs to get through the winter.

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese

Lap Mei Fan is just that, 'lap mei' 臘味 or Chinese preserved meats plus 'fan' 飯 or rice.  Rice, oh rice.  Beautiful rice.  The staple of the Chinese diet.  Unfortunately it seems much of the time to be a forgotten, background kind of thing these days but that is so wrong.  A perfectly cooked bowl of excellent rice is a thing of beauty.  So it's worth your time to discover good rice, you'll be rewarded a plenty.  We like the rice we talked about in our perfect steamed rice post best at the moment.  (If you have some nominations for best rice we would love to know!)

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese

For the lap mei you will have to find a source of Chinese preserved meats 臘味.  There are specialty stores that sell these or you can also find it at your local wet market in Hong Kong or Chinese grocer elsewhere.  The best bet is the specialty stores, if you can find them.  They will have the freshest and the best.  We used four kinds of lap mei for our lap mei fan.  The first (above image) is Chinese Preserved Pork Belly Lap Yuk 臘肉 which is pork belly marinated and then air dried.  (Read more about lap yuk here.)  We love adding lap yuk in for the deliciously fragrant fat that infuses the rice.

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese

The next lap mei is probably the most famous one.  Lap Cheong 臘腸 are the red Chinese sausages that are made from pork and pork fat that have been marinated and smoked.  Sweet and savory at the same time with an enticing hint of rose.  Yummy stuff!  (Read more about lap cheong here.)  The dark sausages are Chinese liver sausages Yun Cheong, or 膶腸, made from duck and pork liver that have been marinated and smoked.  My favorite are the Yun Cheong, they just taste so darn good!

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese

The last of the lap mei that we use is the Chinese Preserved Duck Leg, or 臘鴨腿, which is duck leg that has been salted and marinated in rice wine and then air dried to tasty concentrated meaty perfection.  (Read more about Chinese Preserved Duck Leg here.)  Oh yummy!

Once you've rounded up your lap mei, the rest is just a matter of slicing the lap mei into bite sized pieces in preparation for laying on top of your rice.  The real trick, however, to this dish is in the method of cooking which makes or breaks your Lap Mei Fan.  Here are the important points of the cooking:

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese

1) You must cook it in a clay pot, it won't work in other pots.  Chinese clay pots are super inexpensive and can be found in any Chinese kitchen store or porcelain ware store or even maybe at your asian grocery store if they also carry housewares.  The normal sizes are small, medium and large.  For our recipe of Lap Mei Fan get a medium size.  Make sure to get the clay pots that have a wire frame around the exterior, this will make the pot more stable and less liable to crack.  Also mind that you never put a clay pot on a very hot fire, it must be be gradually heated or it will crack for sure.  I love cooking in any kind of clay pot, they are a joy to cook with and the taste of the food is superb! 

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
A bit of everything in each bowl
chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
The golden rice crust!
2) Follow the cooking with your nose.  A well executed clay pot achieves perfectly cooked rice and toppings (in this case lap mei) as well as a golden crust of crunchy rice at the bottom of the pot.  The problem of course is that one cannot see the bottom of the pot to check if the rice crust is formed to satisfaction.  And you cannot disturb or stir the rice/toppings.  So you kinda have to guess a bit.  After trial and error, my hubby has deduced that using low heat and following the cooking with your nose is the best way to check if the crust is ready.  When the rice smells roasty but not burnt, the pot is ready to be removed from heat.


3)  Cook with charcoal.  This last item is for the true purists of the form.  The best clay pot rice is cooked over charcoal fire, as charcoal heat provides an very hot even heat that allows for the best control and the best finish.  Cooking over charcoal also seems to improve taste as well.  But for those of us cooking at home a regular gas or electric stove is just fine, as long as you keep to low heat and follow your nose!  Note: If you do decide to cook with charcoal remember to do so in a well ventilated area.

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese


Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice Recipe  臘味飯
(makes 6-7 rice bowlfuls) Prep time:    Cook time: 

1 medium sized (2-3 quart) clay pot

Ingredients:
2 cups rice
3 cups water
1/2 piece preserved pork belly lap yuk 臘肉
1 lap cheong 臘腸
1 yun cheong 膶腸
1 preserved duck leg 臘鴨腿
4 stalks choi sum, blanched
2-3 tbsps sweet soy sauce

Directions:

Rinse the preserved pork belly and preserved duck leg under hot tap water, rubbing with your fingers to remove as much of the surface oil as you can.  Dry and slice meat into bite sized pieces with a cleaver.  Slice lap cheong and yun cheong sausages at a diagonal into bite sized pieces.

Rinse rice until clear and strain out all water.  Oil clay pot generously.  Add in rice and 3 cups water into clay pot and heat gradually from low heat to high heat until the water boils.  Once water boils remove from heat and carefully arrange your preserved meats on top of the rice in a pleasing pattern.  Cover, return to stove,  turn heat to low and cook 20 mins.  DO NOT OPEN the lid.  For last 10 mins use your nose to check for the smell of roasted, caramelized rice on the bottom of pot.  When it smells right remove clay pot from heat and, NOT OPENING the lid, let sit covered for 15 mins.  Add blanched choi sum to dish, bring to table.  Drizzle sweet soy sauce over, scoop a generous portion of tender rice, roasty crunchy rice crust and delicious preserved meats into each bowl and serve hot.  Enjoy!



More Luscious Lap Mei Dishes at The Hong Kong Cookery:

duck, preserved duck, rice, steamed, 蒸, 臘鴨腿, recipeSteamed Chinese Preserved Duck Leg 蒸臘鴨腿

chinese, lap cheong, recipe, rice, sausage, steamed, yun cheong, 蒸, 臘腸, 飯Steamed Lap Cheong Rice 蒸臘腸飯

Bakkwa, chinese, chinese feasts and festivals cookbook, cookbook review, giveaway, homemade, meat jerky, Pork Jerky, recipe, 猪肉干, 肉干, 自制Homemade Chinese Pork Jerky Bakkwa 自制猪肉干

chinese, chinese sausage, Cured, Lap Yuk, Pork Belly, preserved meat, preserved sausage, recipe, steamed, 蒸, 臘肉Steamed Chinese Cured Pork Belly Lap Yuk 蒸臘肉
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2 comments:

  1. Xin Nian Kuai le ! from Xi'an. Maybe this will seem a silly question....does the clay pot go directly on the stove element or should it sit on something?

    Love your posts, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey morningside girl - you can put directly on the electric or gas stove, as long as you remember to start the heat from low until the clay pot is warmed up, then turn the heat high. Happy Chinese New Year to you as well! ~ellen

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