If you’ve ever had com tam, a Vietnamese broken rice dish, you will recognize the usual lemongrass pork chop that it comes with, and sometimes they even come with a piece of Vietnamese steamed egg meatloaf called cha trung. I tried to recreate this dish today and it turned out pretty well.
Here, I will share my recipe for you to recreate this at home as well.
LEMONGRASS PORK CHOP
6-8 pieces of pork chop, tenderized
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp lemongrass, finely minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small onion, minced (or one shallot)
Combine all ingredients aside from the pork chops in a bowl and mix till the sugar is mostly dissolved (this will be your marinade).
Place the pork chop in a large bowl, sheet pan, or ziplock bag and pour the marinated over it and ensure each piece is well coated in the marinade.
Cover and place in the fridge to allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours, or best overnight.
When you’re ready to cook it, pan fry each side over medium heat till cooked through and both sides are lightly browned (about 3-4 mins per side depending on thickness).
400g ground pork
30g bean thread noodle, soaked in water to soften and cut into 1 cm pieces
4 pieces of wood ear mushroom, rehydrated and minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1/4 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 – 2 tsp Knorr chicken broth powder
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp annato oil (or chili oil)
Combine all ingredients listed, except for 3 eggs and the annato/chili oil. I didn’t have any annato at hand as probably most people, so I found the next closest thing I had, which was chili oil. What we are trying to do here is just make the egg yolk orange, which gives the signature orange coloured top to the cha trung.
In a small bowl, separate the remaining 3 eggs by placing the yolks in the bowl, and adding the egg whites to the pork mixture and mix well.
To the egg yolks, add the annato/chili oil and mix well and set aside.
Pour the pork mixture into an oiled 8 inch pan and bottom lined with parchment paper (ensure sides of pan are high enough for the mixture) and steam on high for 20-25 minutes.
To prevent condensation that tends to build up inside the lid from dripping onto your cha trung, cover the top of pot with a cloth and then cover it with the lid.
Afterwards, pour the egg yolk over top of the cha trung and spread evenly with a silicone brush.
Steam for another 10 minutes until cooked through.