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Cooking With Clay Pots: How Mud Makes ‘Makan-Time’ Amazing

Cooking With Clay Pots: How Mud Makes ‘Makan-Time’ Amazing

Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, clay pots are among the oldest cookware in the world.

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Who doesn’t love a good ol’ serving of clay pot chicken rice, amirite? A dish that arrives at the table still sizzling hot and so delicious that it makes your mouth water and your tummy tingle with happiness!

But before you chow down on that tasty treat, let’s take a closer look at the curious clay-made cookware that makes our makan moments oh so special.

Cooking with mud

(Credit: John Mukiibi Elijah via Unsplash)

Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, clay pots are among the oldest cookware in the world. Made from natural clay—which is a mixture of soil that’s composed of very tiny rock particles—clay pots are shaped and baked into durable and versatile tools that can do it all: bake, boil, roast, steam, and stew, you name it!

Clay pots have been around for ages and used by different people and places from the Middle East to the Far East. The oldest record of clay pottery being used for cooking can be traced back to communities living in what’s now China as far back as 20,000 years ago. (That’s during the last Ice Age!)

(Credit: Ash Edmonds via Unsplash)

What makes clay pots so special is their ability to retain heat, moisture and flavour, resulting in dishes that are cooked evenly, are tender, juicy and aromatic, and have a hint of earthy taste too. It can also stay warm and fresh for a good amount of time

Some of the most popular dishes that are cooked with clay pots can be found right here in Malaysia and are influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, indigenous ethnic cuisines and Western dishes.

Dishes like biryani, ayam kampung masak sup, asam pedas and many others are made even more delicious when cooked in a clay pot.

(Credit: Lee Khang Yi via Malay Mail)

A dish fit for emperors

A common clay pot favourite for most Malaysian peeps would probably be the Chinese-style clay pot rice (clay pot chicken rice). It’s a traditional dish that originated in southern China and is popular here and in other parts of Southeast Asia.

Consisting of rice, chicken, mushrooms, and other condiments, the dish is cooked in a clay pot over a charcoal fire, creating a crispy layer of rice at the bottom and topped with deliciously juicy chicken.

(Credit: Ethan Lau via Malay Mail)

This dish is a throwback to ancient times and evolved from one of the Eight ‘culinary’ Treasures of the Zhou Dynasty. It was served to royalty, and like a pot of fortune, is supposed to bring diners good luck, wealth, and a long life.

So why not dig into your very own Loong-gevity Pot Of Fortune 盆满龙翔 this Chinese New Year? Catch the video below to find out more about clay pot rice and why it remains a Malaysian favourite.

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