Mum's chicken and lap cheong claypot rice

This is a recipe that my mum used to make when we were kids, and strangely, when I was younger, didn't really appreciate much at the time as I wasn't really into Chinese mushrooms. Funny how your taste changes as you get older and now I think it is super tasty! I have to admit I (like my mum) only know how to use a rice cooker for this, so don't ask me how you cook it otherwise! Technically, it clearly is not a claypot but comes out tasting just like a claypot dish...

Makes: 6 servings


  1. Heat a generous splash of oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the shallots and garlic til fragrant
  2. Add the chicken pieces, soy sauce, oyster sauce, some ground black pepper, the five spice powder, Worcester sauce and sliced mushrooms. Fry for 5-10 miutes, covering the chicken in the sauce mix
  3. Add a cup of water, to make the sauce more runny, stir and leave to simmer, covered, on a medium heat for about 35-40 minutes til the chicken is cooked through
  4. Meanwhile, soak the lap cheong in boiling water for about 5 minutes, until the skin can be peeled off. Slice thinly
  5. Wash the rice and add to the rice cooker pot enough water to leave a 2cm layer of water above the rice surface. Add the entire contents of the saucepan (all the gravy and chicken and saucy goodness) to the washed rice, and the sliced sausage. Stir thoroughly and cook in the rice cooker til it is ready and the rice cooker says it is done - and enjoy! Really good with a dash of hot chili sauce.











  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 6-8 drumsticks or thighs
  • 5 shallots, finely chopped (or regular onion is fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 dried Chinese mushrooms (pre-soak and immerse in warm water for at least 30 mins or til soft and squidgy) - use 200g chestnut mushrooms if you can't find these - thickly sliced
  • 1 lap cheong, or Chinese sausage
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • dash of light soy sauce
  • dash of Worcester sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp five spice powder
  • 500g long grain rice, washed and drained


pad thai noodles

Makes: 4 servings


I came across this recipe in Felicity Cloake's Guardian food article (see link below). I grew up eating loads of pad thai and think this is the closest recipe there is to perfect pad thai. You can use chicken instead of prawns and leave tofu out (which I usually do as it's hard to find in Geneva), or just leave out all proteins and make it vegetarian. Super-versatile.

Make sure you do not overcook the rice noodles - soak them til VERY al dente and then rinse with cold water straight away, to stop them cooking more. It's important to do this as the noodles absorb the tamarind juice/fish sauce and sugar for quite a while, which softens the noodles really quickly.


  1. soak rice noodles in boiling hot water for 10 mins or til al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water
  2. meanwhile, make sauce by combining fish sauce, tamarind water and palm sugar in a small pan, heating gently on stove til sugar dissolves
  3. heat wok on high heat, add half the oil. Add crushed garlic and chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds til fragrant. Then add the drained noodles and a splash of water. Stir-fry the noodles til they are drying out, then add the sauce mix and fry til noodles fully absorb sauce and are almost soft
  4. push the noodles to the side of the work, and add the rest of the oil. Fry tofu and prawns til they colour, then push to the side and add egg mixture, scrambling
  5. stir through the noodles and add the preserved radish, beansrpouts, chives and peanuts, combining well. Serve with lime wedges as a zingy garnish 


  • 240g rice stick noodles (5mm length usually)
  • 120 ml fish sauce
  • 120 ml tamarind water (made from concentrate and lukewarn water)
  • 120g palm sugar (block is ideal but normal brown sugar is fine if you don't have it)
  • 4 birdseye chillies, crushed (less if you don't like spice)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 80ml groundnut oil
  • 200g extra-firm tofu, chopped in small cubes (optional)
  • 12 large prawns
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 50g preserved salted radish, chopped
  • 200g beansprouts
  • 8 stalks of Chinese chives, chopped (don't use spring onion)
  • 100g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (unsalted preferably)
  • lime wedges to garnish