Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Craypot Claze

This container of complex chemical bonds is a sentimental object. Its slow, gradual dissipation of heat to provide warmth in food is a technical feature unachievable by both metal and plastic. Especially the unglazed type, when kept improperly scrapped (hygienic eaters may disagree), it provides a nice taste for the next cooking.

And these are just some of the reasons why we love our claypots. In Chinese eateries, a suggestion of a claypot dish is almost subconsciously mandatory. Claypot tofu, claypot curry, claypot rice, claypot everything. Even abalone tastes better when cooked in claypots.

It's that hearty, warm spoonful of gravy/rice or the explosion of flavours in the soup from the long hours of simmer that makes it so special. Yes, hexamine fuel tablets ensure that the steamed fish comes steamy but the sauce may burn after some time. Solid fuels are rarely heard of, in the case of claypots.

While people of a more pragmatic mindset choose to reflect on the achievements and ways of improving themselves, a current personal reflection has drawn me into realizing that I've been eating quite a number of claypot dishes in the past few months. Adding to the list are Kok Sen's homemade yong tau foo, 2nd Kitchen's garoupa photophores (very Avatar-sounding, right?), watercress with pork ribs soup from Yummy Kitchen and the really oily braised pork belly from Tong Chiang. Let's not forget the seasonal favourite of claypot rice with assorted waxed meat during the lunar new year celebration.

It's perfectly alright to apply claypots for aesthetic purposes but to deliberately state that it's cooked in it as well is to commit a culinary fraud. And it's as common as piracy these days, I'm afraid. A hot dish in a cold claypot sounds wrong, doesn't it?

Yong tau foo at Kok Sen Coffee Shop

Tonkotsu-like, garoupa's photophores soup at 2nd kitchen

Watercress soup with pork ribs at Yummy Claypot

Claypot rice at Yummy Claypot

Claypot rice at Tong Chiang

Very oily and blinding braised pork belly with preserved vegetable at Tong Chiang

On another note, the braised pork (kau yuk or kou rou) bee hoon at Yummy Claypot, though lean, is quite delicious.

Kok Sen Coffee Shop
30A Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089137

2nd Kitchen
592 Balestier Rd
#01-03
Singapore 718813
Tel: (+65) 6254 3676

Yummy Claypot
340 Joo Chiat Road,
Singapore, 427592
Tel: (+65) 63457345

Tong Chiang
Junction of Serangoon Road & Lavender Street
Tel: (+65) 6296 4456/6296 4228

11 comments:

J said...

Carb-y and pork-y food - yummmsss... :) :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

definitely crazy enough to jumble up the letters!

world of sekimachihato said...

claypots are naturally found everywhere over here too, but i have yet to taste one which i thought deserved a tick in my book...
i did buy some claypots and did a delicious udon meal. next time will definitely whip up a rice dish using my claypots. gotta have that over-cooked baked on rice!

mimid3vils said...

my fav claypot dish would be the "ham yu fa lam bo" aka salted fish pork belly (咸鱼花腩煲)~~~

minchow said...

There is definitely something I can't put my finger on upon the sight of a meal in a claypot. More often than not I've ended up being disappointed by how it tasted... must be going to all the wrong kinds of clay!

CUMI & CIKI said...

yar that's true what u say. a lot of ppl like that 'improper' kerak, but me no like! haha.. it's an acquired taste lor:P (i love ur shots though!)

Pureglutton said...

Oh yes, i love claypot stuff - esp BKT, haha! And I dreamed of home-made Yong Taufu last night - maybe it's time i go buy some tenggiri this weekend & make my own YTF!

HairyBerry said...

j, haha, and adding a yummy to the rhyme too! ;D

joe, that was exactly my thought! hahaha. too much claypot in the past few months!

world of sekimachihato, oh yes! nabes are some of my cravings, especially on those cold days. do try making a rice dish with the claypot. you'll love the crispy, burnt bits. it's addictive! have fun!

mimi, agree!!!!! 咸鱼花腩煲 is one of my favourites as well! the smell is amazing! especially when they use really good pork belly!

minchow, i understand your point of view. often enough, i end up with substandard claypot dishes too and in particular, claypot rice. i blame the tasteless sauce, usually. but of course, there are some which are memorable. like the claypot chicken rice stall at taman sri sinar.

cumi & ciki, thanks for the compliment! ;D the kerak plus the soy sauce plus the chopped chillies...wowz, very appetising!

pureglutton, yeah, how can i forget to include bkt in my list!!! hahahaha. oooh, i just love homemade ytf, especially when pork in included in the filling. yes, time for ytf this weekend! ;D

ladyironchef - Singapore Food Blog said...

your craypot claze got me into a crave too! lol

Paprika said...

mmmmm claypot. Love how the rice sticks the bottom and you get all the crispy flavourful bits. Claypot much HB?? :-)

HairyBerry said...

ladyironchef, i clazy, right? hahahaha...

paps, claypot TOO much, i think..haha. didnt have any after reunion's wax meat claypot rice. (which was yummy!)