Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Beef, Shrimp and Mushroom- Chao Tom Thit Bo va Nam

Vietnamese food

Make 4 medium bowls (1.5 cup/cereal bowl), yellow onion is used here so sugar not needed.  I use jasmine rice (long grain) here but other round rice can be used too.  Water needs to be adjusted slightly between rice variety.  If you are not sure, start with 4-5 cups water then add more if needed.

1 cup rice
6 cups water
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut in large wedges
1 small garlic clove, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound beef ( top sirloin, chuck, etc.)
8 large shrimp (about 1/2 pound) best with shells and head intact
1/4 pound mushroom
2 teaspoon fish sauce and extra for serving
1/4 tsp ground black pepper plus extra for saving
2 green onion
A few sprigs of cilantro (optional)
1 small red hot chili (optional)

  1. Put rice into a large pot (4-5 quarts) add water and stir or rub gently with fingers.  Rinse a few times, drain.  Then add 6 cups water, yellow onion, garlic and salt.  Bring it to a boil, stir occasionally.  Keep an eye close until boiling.  Turn the heat down to gently simmer, close the lid.  Cook and stir occasionally until rice is really tender and thickened about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Thinly slice beef. Partial frozen beef helps slicing easier if you preferred.  Set aside.
  3. Rinse shrimp,  devein shrimp by use a toothpick, inserted into middle of shrimp between gaps of shells.  Then pull the toothpick up and out.  Remove head but keep the shell on.  Remove the digest sac in the head, located near the eyes but keep the orange/yellow liquid of the head.  Put shrimps and heads in a bowl.  Discard digest sacs and veins. 
  4. Slice mushroom, thinly slice green onion, cut lemon/lime into wedges, thinly slice hot pepper if use.
  5. When the rice is done, add fish sauce, black pepper,  shrimps and heads into the rice soup.  Turn the heat up to medium, gently stir occasionally a few minutes until shrimps cooked and turned pink. Remove shrimp but keep heads in the soup.  Add beef, mushroom stir well.  Taste and adjust seasoning with a little more salt or fish sauce if needed.  Turn off the heat. Stir in green onion.
  6. Ladle soup with or without shrimp heads/onion wedges  into serving bowls, peel shrimps and add to the bowls. Sprinkle some ground black pepper, cilantro.  Serve with some lemon/lime wedges, hot pepper and extra fish sauce on the side.

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