Three "Over Rice" Recipes (下饭菜)


Good-over-rice dishes – Xiafancai – aren’t exactly to true ‘category’ of food per se, but are more up to personal taste. There’s too many possibilities to even list out, but for this video we settled on three recipes:

* Diced pork and mushroom over rice
* Squash with black soybean over rice
* Lao Gan Ma chili sauce over rice

We felt that the essence of an ‘over rice’ dish is something that was (A) more of an easier weeknight thing and (B) something that could also work as a one person meal. So for this video, we gave ourselves a time limit – each dish can be cooked, start to finish, in 50 minutes (though perhaps the pork might flirt with that limit if you’re particularly slow with a knife). That’s the amount of time our overly fancy rice cooker pumps out rice, so we figured it’d be a good fit.

Just blanch or fry some green vegetables to make into a full meal.

Written recipe(s) are over here on Reddit:

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Outro Music: “Add And” by Broke For Free

Learn how to cook real deal, authentic Chinese food! We post recipes every Wednesday-ish (unless we happen to be travelling) 🙂

We’re Steph and Chris – a food-obsessed couple that lives in Shunde, China. Steph is from Guangzhou and loves cooking food from throughout China – you’ll usually be watching her behind the wok. Chris is a long-term expat from America that’s been living in China and loving it for the last eleven years – you’ll be listening to his explanations and recipe details, and doing some cooking at times as well.

This channel is all about learning how to cook the same taste that you’d get in China. Our goal for each video is to give you a recipe that would at least get you close to what’s made by some of our favorite restaurants here. Because of that, our recipes are no-holds-barred Chinese when it comes to style and ingredients – but feel free to ask for tips about adaptations and sourcing too!

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  1. Chinese Cooking Demystified

    Hey guys, a few notes:

    1. To blanch the vegetable: pot of boiling water, squeeze in a touch of oil for a bit of sheen. Here we were doing Choy Sum, so that gets blanched for ~1 minute. The way I (Chris) learned to do crunchy veg like Choy Sum or Baby Bok Choy is to hold the thick stem in the bubbling water for about ~30-45 seconds (I usually do it until my hand gets too hot), then drop it in for 15-30 seconds then drain. Of course, Steph doesn’t bother with that… and she’s a better cook than the person that taught me that anyhow. I just like my blanched vegetable cooked just enough and no more I suppose.

    2. I’m guessing my opinion on Mapo Tofu with rice might… have some strong disagreement lol. Here’s the way I look at it. A proper Mapo Tofu can be pretty intensely flavored… and I feel like for something as strong a taste as Mala, I personally want my white rice to be a break from that, a respite. Having it on the side gives the meal a bit of contrast. Obviously though, if you like your Mapo Tofu over rice, most of the world seems to agree with you. I guess I seem to be the weird one 🙂

    3. So I promise we weren’t trying to pull a fast one on you or anything by labelling “Lao Gan Ma on white rice” as a ‘recipe’. Here’s the thing – a number of things that people might think of as xiafan (i.e. good over rice) here are basically prepared products. Another example might be fermented tofu, or perhaps Sichuan pickles. We wanted to include that sub-category of “good-over-rice” stuff in the video, and Lao Gan Ma is certainly the king of that sub-category…

    4. Generally, I think most people in the West equate ‘good over rice’ as ‘saucy’. And saucy stuff is good over rice, no doubt… but there’s definitely stuff beyond that. So yeah. The whole concept here was ‘something saucy’, ‘something not saucy’, and ‘something prepared’.

    5. Another contentious opinion I hold: definitely make your black soybean garlic sauce yourself… it’s so, so much better than that bottled LKK. I compared the difference to mayo, but in hindsight I think a better analogy might be whipped cream – i.e. homemade = awesome, store-bought = kinda gross. To my taste buds at least, the bottled stuff just isn’t a substitute for that chocolately richness that douchi brings.

    6. So “xiafan” in an interesting word, because it seems that different people here have different concepts of what the word means. For some, it means basically anything salty/flavorful that you want to eat a lot of rice with *in the same meal*. For others (and how we used it here), it means something that you toss on/in your rice and eat it *in the same bite*. I can’t seem to put together if it’s a regional thing or not. It’s a kind of interesting dynamic because you could theoretically have people from the former group be talking about ‘xiafan’ dishes with the latter without much hiccup, as often there’s a big overlap there.

    Lastly, if you like this sort of stuff… let us know. We do have a comparative shortage of ‘weeknight cooking’ kind of things on this channel, and we quite like the concept of “a handful of good-over-rice dishes” in that 50 minute time limit (30 minutes is the cliché ‘quick and easy’ time limit, but I think 50 minutes is more realistic for proper cooking). It was fun for us to conceptualize & test too. We’d love to circle back around to “over rice dishes” every ~3 months or so, but only if you guys are into it. I know it’s not quite that hardcore foodie content that y’all might expect from us by now.

  2. A Z

    Honestly laoganma plus egg over rice is one of my most frequent lunches. It’s so easy and delicious. I also like to try all the different sauces – I love the laoganma with mince pork and Sichuan pepper plus egg over rice. So thank you for introducing me to the amazing world of laoganma

  3. Tom Cheng

    your rice cooker takes 50 minutes? ours is closer to 20, what gives? is yours doing some extra process that ours isn't?

  4. John Pick

    These times make over rice dishes are must ! Thank you.

  5. A. Ni

    50 minutes is really really long for cooking


    Disagree on MAPO TOFU!?!!?!?!?!

  7. snazzy mcnazmy

    I wish they sold Lao gan ma in bigger jars, me and my wife use it at least 3 times a week

  8. Steve Wright

    Did she say "kegger"? I would eat this stuff half way through a keg.

  9. Steve Wright

    I love the last one, big fan of simple, fast, and healthy, recently discovered Lao Gan Ma (from this channel!), and throwing a fried egg in with everything!

  10. Sam Huestis

    Re-watching this video and have a question. Why does Chinese cuisine seem to use exclusively reconstituted dried mushrooms, rather than fresh mushrooms? Is it a traditional thing where dried mushrooms were just more shelf stable and then became the go-to? It does seem to have benefits (you get Mushroom water every time).

  11. Nilima Singh

    You guys are awesome

  12. Leon X. LIU

    I think "盖浇饭" might be more suitable for "over rice".

  13. isbeb

    I made the pork and mushroom one and it was really good! i added a little extra soy sauce bc i wanted a bit more saltiness.

  14. spoon4bob


  15. Sandra G

    Can you please talk about those rice cookers? They look interesting and I’d like to purchase some but I’m not sure which, and what’s the best for Asian cuisines. Love your videos! Thanks!!!🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🇲🇽🍀👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

  16. Ashley

    I really just want to say thank you for bringing Laoganma into my life, this stuff is just delightful, and will probably end up being a staple in my house.

  17. dgmckim

    the garbage bowl one has been a staple of mine for years. it's so good

  18. Arthur De Leniq

    50 Min To Cook Rice ??????? When I make Rice Is 20 Min dude , even if you do the benguing with babish rice method is like 30 '-' trow away this rice cooker man and learn how to use a pan '-' !

  19. Andrew Long

    What is my rice cooker not doing that it cooks rice in like 15 minutes? 50 minutes seems really long, to me.

  20. Nikki Babaii

    This was really interesting. Basically 90% of Iranian cooking is over rice stews and meats so I grew up heavily with those kinds of meals so seeing this trend in other cultures is so cool and interesting to watch

  21. Ruben Van der Straaten

    Mapo Tofu over rice is fucking gas…. do you guys really put the entire pot of what you cook over one bowl of rice? You can portion control so that it's not too soupy. If it's too soupy, more rice is never a bad thing either…

  22. yellow


  23. Jules Moyaert


  24. Caleb Russell

    To this day I still cannot understand the appeal of mapo tofu over rice. The best part of mapo tofu is taking a moment away from the heat for a bit of rice that helps kinda tone down the heat in my experience. Plus it just means you get more of that first bite experiencethat's my favorite part of eating any spicy food honestly.

  25. Pink Man

    In Malaysia,EVERYTHING can be over rice

  26. W Y

    I'm gonna give that pork + mushroom sauce a try! I have so much pork loin so I'm trying out different ways to prepare it 🙂

  27. Akshay Padhye

    50 mins to make rice in a cooker?! Brooo… you need a new rice cooker


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