Vietnamese Steamed Meat Loaf- Cha Dum

Vietnamese food

Make 4 servings as an appetizer
1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb chicken or pig liver, coarsely chopped or ground
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 medium carrot, thinly julienned or cut into small (1/4-in) cubes
1 oz dried fine bean thread vermicelli (fine mung bean threads/about 1 small bundle in the package)
1/4 cup lightly packed shredded wood ear mushroom or a few whole mushroom
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 -2 tsp whole black pepper (option)
4 Tbs pork fat or vegetable oil
2 shallot, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Nuoc mam cham (recipe in post)
Pickled carrot (optional, recipe in banh mi post)
A few sprigs cilantro, lettuce
2 green onion for green onion oil
1/4 cup roasted peanut, coarsely crushed (optional)

1.  Soak mungbean vermicelli and mushroom in separated bowls with cold or warm water until soft about 15-20 minutes.  Rinse and drain well.  Cut into small (1/2-in) pieces.
2.  In a large bowl, combine ground meats, liver, carrot, mungbean vermicelli, eggs, wood ear mushroom  fish sauce, salt, sugar, ground black pepper.
3.  In a small skillet, heating 2 Tbs oil over medium high heat.  Stir in shallot and garlic until fragrant, remove from heat and add to ground meat mixture.  Toss well.  Cook a small piece in microwave for 15-20 seconds until no pink look, then taste adjust seasoning as your liking.
4.  Lightly oil four small bowls (1 cup size/ cereal bowl will be good).  Divide the mixture into prepared bowls.  Steam for 35-45 minutes, until cook through.  A knife or chopstick inserts in the center should have clear liquid come out.  Start testing after 30 minutes.  Some of liquid will form on the top and will be reabsorbed back into the meat loaf when cool down.  Let it cool on the cooling rack until serve.
5.  Remove and revert the meat loaf on a plate, garnish with green onion oil, pickled carrot, lettuce, and cilantro, and peanut if use.
6.  Serve warm or at room temperature with shrimp chip, toasted thick sesame rice paper, or toast and nuoc mam cham as an appetizer. Use a small piece of shrimp or sesame chip scoop onto the meatloaf to eat with or without nuoc mam cham .  It can be eaten with cooked rice or bread at home. Will update more information about sesame rice paper.

Green onion oil (mo hanh)
   In a small pan, heat 2 Tbs oil over medium high heat.  When it is hot, remove from heat and stir in green onion.

Note:  you may add some crushed peanuts to the mixture before steaming.  Omit liver if you do not like liver.  May use all beef or combine beef with chicken, turkey, etc. 

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