Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mom's Recipes: Cơm Tấm Bì Chả (Broken Rice)

My mother is in town for a visit and I get to take advantage of her. While I was in Vietnam, I got used to eating cơm tấm nearly every week. Cơm tấm refers to the broken rice that did not make it through as quality rice. It is usally cheaper because it's the rejected rice. Here, it is actually more expensive than regular price. Luckily, I had some old rice. My mom made her own cơm tấm by soaking the rice in water for five minutes, draining it and breaking the rice herself. The rice should be cooked with less water, which she forgot to do.

Cơm tấm can be served with an assortment of protein: (a mixture of shredded pork and skin), chả (similar to meatloaf), sườn (pork chop) and trứng ốp-la (fried egg). My mom typically serves it with bì chả and that is what I requested. I already had a bag of in my freezer so we only had to make chả.

Chả Hấp (Steamed Meatloaf)
This is a basic ground pork mixture. It can be used for spring rolls' filling, with the addition of shredded carrots; hence, spring roll in Vietnamese is called chả giò. It is typically topped with egg yolks to give it a yellow-ey colour. The lady in my alleyway in Vietnam used to top it with whole salted duck egg yolks, which made this dish more decadent.

* ½ onion, minced
* 200 g pork
* 1 tsp salt
* ground pepper, to taste
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 handful of bean thread noodles and nấm mèo (wood ear mushroom), soaked and drained
* 2 egg whites
* 2 egg yolks, beaten
* hành mỡ (scallion oil)

Mix everything together, except for the egg yolks.
Press the mixture into a deep dish.
Steam for about half an hour or until the meat is cooked.
If there is any liquid on the meat, remove it.
Spread the beaten egg yolks on top of the meat and steam until egg is cooked.
Top the meat with hành mỡ.
Slice into pieces.

My mom just places all of the ingredients in one dish.

Meat mixture, ready to be cooked.

Spreading the egg yolk topping once the meat is cooked.

The final product.

Serve with
* cooked rice
* hành mỡ (scallion oil)
* (you can buy it frozen and follow cooking directions - mix it with seasoned pork, thinly sliced and bột thính - if I ever make it, I will post the recipe)
* sliced cucumbers
* nước chấm

Top the rice with more hành mỡ.
I like to mix the into the rice and add a lot of nước chấm on top.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Freaky! I had leftover cha gio filling frozen and was trying to decide whether to make this last night. I decided to defrost regular pork instead and made a Thai laab salad with bot thinh. :P

Miss.Adventure said...

Funny... I have never heard of Thai laab salad. I'll be interested to see it on your blog!

RenSy said...

godd i can never find any bột thính or bì in stores around here :(

im gonna try your chả trứng hấp recipe for my school international dinner in March :)) looks very simple but delicious!!