If you are looking for a healthy new way of cooking, why not try claypot cooking Asian-style?
Claypot cooking is an ancient technique in many cultures from the Romans, Etruscans, Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Moroccans. In Asia, claypots have been widely used as a cooking style for centuries. From China, Vietnam, Thailand, South East Asia to the Indian subcontinent, claypots are an essential utensil in any well-equipped kitchen. In fact, food is often served in claypots to tell people about the way it is cooked.
Claypots are used for boiling soups, noodles and porridge, making stews, and steaming meats and vegetables. With the claypot uncovered, claypots can also be used for frying and grilling meats, vegetables, tofu, rice and noodles. Many dishes are aptly named after this unique cooking style – claypot rice, claypot chicken, and so on.
The porous quality of clay as a cooking utensil creates a moist and sealed environment. When the claypot is soaked in water and heated in an oven, it is ideal for cooking healthier foods with less oil without losing the nutrients. In today’s health-conscious world, the use of claypots for cooking is a wonderful way to reduce the fat content but yet retaining the natural food flavours.
Claypots are placed in direct contact with the heat source, be it a stove, electric hot plate, charcoal, microwave oven or grill. Claypots distribute the heat evenly and much quicker, thus bringing out the natural food flavours and with less energy. Juices released by the food cannot escape and is thus sealed into the claypot. There is no need to add extra oils or fats and the food does not dry out.
How To Start
The careful selection and choice of a good quality claypot is important. Claypots come in various diameters and volume. Select a size that fits your purpose and intended number of servings. Brown and black are the typical claypot colours. There are stockpots, casseroles and all kinds of claypot accessories such as food warmers and teapots.
To begin, it is wise to spend some time to identify a supplier of a good range of high quality authentic claypots. There are certain handling instructions related to the washing of a claypot. Generally speaking, there is no need to soak a good quality claypot.
Next, one should learn how to properly cook using a claypot by attending a claypot cooking class near where you live, or by watching a demonstration by an experienced chef, or by following a recipe cook book. Combining the right amount of ingredients and water in a claypot is crucial to the cooking process. This Is best learned from an expert.
Finally, a little maintenance is required. Claypots need to be handled with care to preserve its unique material for its next use.
Claypot cooking can be an enjoyable cooking experience, not to mention its health benefits. Once you get started, a whole new world of claypot recipes opens up to you.