Crispy rice skillet from Woks of Life
(Photo: Sarah and Kaitlin Leung)

Hong Kong–Style Crispy Rice Skillet

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This dish is traditionally made in a clay pot with Cantonese cured meats like lap cheong (cured pork sausage), gon cheong (duck liver sausage), and lap yuk (cured pork belly) nestled in a bed of rice and drizzled with a sweet, seasoned soy sauce right before serving. Many believe the real prize is the thin layer of crispy rice at the bottom of the pot, but it can be difficult to achieve consistently at home, especially if you’ve never cooked in a clay pot before or don’t have one. The pot’s relatively small footprint also means the amount of crispy rice can be disappointingly limited. This version uses a skillet for more surface area to crisp up the rice, so you don’t have to fight for a piece of it! —Bill, Judy, Sarah, and Kaitlin Leung

Editor’s Note: This dish can easily be made over a campfire using a grill grate and cast-iron skillet.

Adapted with permission from The Woks of Life by Bill, Judy, Sarah, and Kaitlin Leung (Clarkson Potter).



For the rice

  • 1½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice (preferably jasmine)
  • 1⅔ cups water, plus more for soaking the rice
  • 5 tsp. neutral oil
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces (1 to 2 links) Chinese cured pork sausage, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 ounces (1 to 2 links) Chinese cured duck liver sausage, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 3 ounces Chinese cured pork belly, thinly sliced

For the sauce

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. water
  • 2 tsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ⅛ tsp. white pepper powder


1. Prepare the rice: Place the rice in a medium bowl, cover with two inches of water, and soak for one hour. Drain the rice, then transfer to a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Stir in the 1 cups water, 3 teaspoons of the neutral oil, and the salt. Gently shake the pan to even out the rice. Scatter the sliced sausages and pork belly on top.

2. Bring the rice mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. When the mixture begins to slowly bubble, cover it with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 to 17 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the lid from the skillet and increase the heat to medium.

3. Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons of neutral oil around the perimeter of the pan. You should hear the rice sizzling and crackling; if not, increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, for an additional 7 to 10 minutes to crisp the bottom of the rice. Use a thin spatula to check the bottom periodically, and rotate the pan a few times to ensure the rice is cooking evenly.

4. Make the sauce and serve: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat. When the bottom of the rice is golden brown, drizzle half the sauce over the dish. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side

Lead Photo: Sarah and Kaitlin Leung

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