There’s nothing better to ask for on a winter dinner table than steam flying off as you open a lid from a hot pot of rice. You might be more used to electric rice makers than being served a whole stone pot for yourself. In Korea, there are numerous different pots for rice cooking including ones made with cast iron, stone, or ceramics. Compared to electric rice cookers, using pots to cook rice may be a little less convenient, yet the flavour and texture of the outcome are simply not comparable! These pots can also come in various sizes, but the one designed for 1 person only are the most popular these days.
As the rate of single-person households increases in Korea, many dine by themselves at home, often ordering food delivery or microwavable ready meals - which cannot be great for their health! I told you about how health-conscious the young generation in Korea has become since last year. As dietary habits take a huge part of our health, Koreans are on the continuous search for easy recipes that’ll make them feel wholesome and well-treated. A round of applause, please, for the one who started the trend of pot rice! Depending on what ingredients you use, it can be as easy and as fancy as you want. The most common pot rice recipes we see online include bean sprout pot rice, grilled salmon pot rice, cod roe hot price, abalone hot rice, and hot rice made with different Korean-specific spring herbs. For those who are interested in a few different kinds of hot rice recipes, watch the video above!
So out of all the available pot rice options, which recipe will I be sharing today? It’s no other than Aubergine Pot Rice 🍆 One shan’t be disappointed because I’m here to tell you how aubergines can be as delicious as any other ingredients when cooked with steamed rice. I admit that it hasn’t been long since I started liking aubergines myself, because I’m not a fan of mushy textures in my food. But when my dad surprised me with aubergine pot rice one evening, my thoughts about the purple sloppy vegetable changed completely.
It could be the marinated beef mince that made it a better experience or the sauce, but either way I learned to love aubergine ever since! As aubergine is one of the Korean kids’ most avoided veggies (equivalent to brussel sprouts for Kiwi kids 😂), this pot rice recipe is called the ‘picky eater treatment’! Whether or not you like aubergines or not, doesn't that nickname give you a reason to try it out?
- Rinse the rice under running water, drain, and leave it aside for at least 20mins.
- Chop the aubergine into desired sizes, preferably bigger than bite-size.
- Slice the garlic into thin pieces, chop the chives finely and set aside.
- Marinate the minced beef with soy sauce, doubanjiang, sugar, minced garlic, sesame oil and pepper.
- Stir fry the beef and the aubergine separately and set aside. (Tip! Try not to stir the aubergine too much as you cook it, because you don’t want to mush them up.)
- In a pot where you’ll cook your rice, stir fry the sliced garlic with some cooking oil. Once cooked enough, pour the soaked rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in a cup of water and put on high heat until the rice boils. Once it comes to a boil, close the lid and simmer over medium heat for 15-20mins.
- Remove from heat, place the stir-fried aubergine and beef, and close the lid for 5 minutes for the ingredients’ aroma and flavours to soak in the rice.
- Open the lid and place the chopped chives on top (you can optionally add an egg yolk). Stir the rice with a rice ladle, and serve in a bowl with sauce to suit the taste.
There are multiple different ways to cook pot rice, differing slightly in cooking time, when you're supposed to cover the pot with a lid, etc. For some pot rices, they put in the main ingredient in the pot while the rice is boiling, to get the aroma of whatever ingredient they're using to soak deeply in the rice. For this recipe, I chose to put the aubergine after the rice is fully cooked, and to steam it in the rice pot with the remaining heat only - this was to avoid the aubergine from completely loosing its shape and getting mushy. I'll leave a few recipe video links, so have a watch and pick your favourite way of cooking - link, link, link