There's no quicker or basic meal than com tam (Vietnamese broken rice). A basic rice plate will have your choice of meat, sometimes Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls), and Cha Trung (Vietnamese Meatloaf Steamed Egg Omelet).
Funnily enough, the last time I made this, in October 2008, my brother was over for dinner and I was making a quick meal for us. Then recently, near the end of his paternity leave, I wanted to help out, but was feeling too lazy to cook. So, of course, the answer again was pork chops and cha trung.
I think of cha trung as a combination of meatloaf and omelet. It's really hard to ruin this dish. Add some vermicelli noodles and Nam Meo (Tree Ear Fungus) to bind the meat, beat in a few eggs, and steam for about half an hour. If you have extra filling from making egg rolls, you can use that mixture too since many of the ingredients are similar.
You can put all the mixture into one big loaf, or several smaller loaves, or a round pan and slice into wedges.
Cha Trung (Vietnamese Meatloaf Steamed Egg Omelet)
For one loaf, you'll need:
1 lb ground pork
1 bundle vermicelli noodles, soaked
1/3 cup dry Nam Meo (Tree Ear Fungus), soaked
3 large eggs, 2 eggs in the meatloaf, and 1 for the top
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
Optional: 1 carrot, grated
Soak the vermicelli noodles and tree ear fungus in hot water for 15 minutes until softened.
In a bowl, mix 1 lb ground pork, vermicelli noodles, tree ear fungus, 2 large eggs (Yes, there's 3 egg yolks in the photo below because I had medium eggs, so 2 large eggs or 3 medium eggs.), 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp fish sauce.
The carrots were because I used left over cha gio filling instead.
Lightly spray or oil the pans. Put the meatloaf into a loaf pan or bowl.
Beat the remaining egg and put it on top of the meat mixture.
Cover and steam for half an hour on medium heat. I steamed this one using my normal method on the stove top.
And steamed the loaf in my electric steamer.
Nice, smooth, even steamed egg omelet.
The electric steamer, with its constant circulation of liquid, made the eggs more watery and puffier. I'd recommend steaming on the stove top.
See how much firmer the meatloaf looks when steamed on the stove top?
Slice the cha trung.
I quickly pan-fried some pork chops while the omelet was steaming.
Serve with Com Suon Cha Trung (Vietnamese Pork Chops with Steamed Egg Meatloaf) or your choice of grilled meat.
1 year ago today, Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese Fried Sauce Noodles aka "Chinese Spaghetti").
2 years ago today, Calbee Seaweed and Salt potato chips.
3 years ago today, one of my favorite dim sum restaurants is now lackluster at best - NBC Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park.