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Claypot-Cooked Vegetables with Shiitake and Chinese Five-Spice

Claypot-Cooked Vegetables with Shiitake and Chinese Five-Spice

This recipe uses a traditional Chinese clay pot to bake the vegetables in the oven, but you can use any covered casserole dish. If using a casserole dish, there’s no need to set it in water–just put it directly into the oven.

Some clay pot manufacturers recommend slowly heating the pot, rather than placing it into a heated oven in a pan of water. Follow the directions for your particular pot, heating it up to 400°F.

The sweet, warm, cool, and spicy blend of seasonings in this recipe makes ordinary vegetables come alive with flavor!

* 12 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and finely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into half moons
* 4 cups (20 oz/600 g) mixed fresh vegetables such as pumpkin, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant, baby corn, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
* 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 cup (8 fl oz/50 ml) clear vegetable stock
* 2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster (mushroom) sauce
* 1 bunch (15 oz/450 g) choy sum or bok choy, quartered lengthwise
* steamed rice, for serving

Soak a Chinese clay pot in water for an hour before using. Alternatively, use a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). (Or use the directions that came with your clay pot for gradual heating.) Mix all the ingredients together and place in the cooking container. Put the pot in a large baking dish filled with enough water to reach halfway up the pot. Bake for 1 hour, Serve from the claypot at the table. Accompany with steamed rice.

Tip: Always set the hot clay pot on a cloth pad or towel rather than a cold surface when it first comes out of the oven or the sudden change in temperature may crack the pot.

Note: I think it’d be easy to do this in a crock pot, 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

Serves 4-8

Adapted from Vegetarian Asian Essential Kitchen Series, by Lynelle Scott-Aitken

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