Lazy Cooking Day – Vietnamese Steamed Egg Meatloaf (Chả trứng Hấp) – And a Quick Reunion with Friends

Cooking Diary – Log 7 – 25.04.2012

Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Today has been another Finnish sunny, happy summer day to me.

My thesis is going quite well at the moment. I almost finish the first chapter – introduction in the thesis. YAY!

Two friends of mine, Meow and Bamboo, have just returned to Finland from their one – year double degree program in Ireland. Bamboo stopped at Little Chi’s house to unpack her stuff, therefore, I only have chance to meet Meow at the bus stop near my apartment, when Bear and I came there to help her carry the heavy luggage. I have just met Bamboo about 1 month ago when she had to visit Finland to run some personal errands. I suppose that she would not change that much after 1 month. :)

As for Meow, she doesn’t seem to change much in her appearance, except she has gotten a bit thinner and her hair is longer, too. I have missed her much after 1 year apart from each other.  We kept in touch frequently on the Internet but I must say, nothing beats a close face-to-face conversation. We talked and laughed all the way home, and then talked some more when she was repacking stuff for her Helsinki trip. She gave me a very cute ring as a present, and a pack of grounded almond. :) Just in time because I intent to make macarons very soon. Only good friends know each other that well.

Recently I did not want to cook anything so complicated. In this thesis writing madness, I am having the tendency to neglect my hobby. I should have a section in this blog called “Lazy Cooking/Baking”, shouldn’t I? A category for simple, easy, and quick dishes, perfect for days when you don’t feel like being in the kitchen?

Yes, good idea.

So today, the first recipe I would like to add the Lazy Cooking category is another daily Vietnamese dish, Steam Egg Meatloaf (Chả trứng hấp).

Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Here we go!

——————————————–

Ingredients

Meatloaf egg mix

  • 300g grounded pork
  • 75g dried bean threads/vermicelli (Not the rice kind, the green bean, transparent kind. Here is the brand I use)

Brand I use

  • 5 dried wood ear funguses/mushrooms
  • 5 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 onion bulb, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs and 2 egg whites
  • 5 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. grounded black pepper

Egg Glaze

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Chopped scallion (spring onion)

——————————————–

Instruction

Step 1: Soak the mushrooms in hot water, for about 15 minutes before processing. They will expand quite much.

Before.

Before

And after.

After

Step 2: Don’t sit and wait for the mushroom, we got plenty to do. :) While let them sit on the counter, also soak the dried bean vermicelli with hot water, for 15 minutes.

Before.

Before

And again, after.

After

Step 3: Now use scissors to cut the soaked bean vermicelli into 1.5cm long strings. Like this.

Scissor cutting technique

And you will have result like this.

Cut Bean Vermicelli

Step 4: Now cut the soaked mushroom into this strip of 2mm wide. I know it hard, but keep practicing. Remember to remove the stems of the wood ear fungus.

Chopped mushroom

Step 5: In a big bowl, combine together all the ingredients in the meatloaf egg mix listed above. Remember, only 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. 2 egg yolks are separated  and set aside for later use.

Combine all ingredients in egg meatloaf mix

Mix well with a wooden spoon or chopsticks.

Mix well

Pour the mixture into a big baking dish, or smaller ramekins.

Step 6: Now prepare a big pot with a steam basket like mine. If you don’t have a steam basket, simply put a deep plate or bowl upside down inside your pot. Put the egg dish inside the pot. Pour enough water till it reaches the bottom of the egg dish.

Prepare a steamer

Step 7: Now turn on the heat, put the lid on, and steam our dish for 30 minutes. Remember to check the water level frequently and add more if needed. The egg is done when you put a skew into the center of the dish, and see no water coming out of that hole, like this.

Done

Step 8: With the heat still on and the dish is still in the steamer, mix well all the ingredients of the egg glaze.

Egg Glaze mix

Pour it onto the egg dish. Make sure it covers all of the surface.

Pour egg glaze on top

Scatter chopped scallion on top.

Garnish with chopped scallion

And let them steam with lid for another 5 minutes until the egg yolk glaze is set.

Get the dish out of the pot and let it set and cool down for 20 minutes before serving.

Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Now, now, use a knife to divide the loaf into desired serving size. I use a spoon to scoop it out a serve with cooked rice. :)

We finished half of the dish right off with rice and stir-fried Chinese cabbage.

Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

——————————————–

After Meow repacking her stuff, we said goodbye and she left to stay the night at another friend’s apartment. Tomorrow, she will move away to Helsinki to settle for the summer, maybe find a job and start writing her thesis. She has always been a very hard working, and highly motivated girl. It was a fast meeting; I wish we could have more time together, like before. But I am grateful for what we are now.

I wish you well, Meow!

Now, I have to be back with my beloved thesis. :)

Have a nice day,

Rose

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19 thoughts on “Lazy Cooking Day – Vietnamese Steamed Egg Meatloaf (Chả trứng Hấp) – And a Quick Reunion with Friends

  1. I made the dish according to this recipe for the World Dinner day in Helsinki today and it came out successfully. Thanks a ton :) Just one thing I notice is we can add the chopped spring onion a bit later, then it would be able to keep it fresh-green color. Right? :P

  2. Hi Rose,
    I just made this yesterday, came out pretty good. I am not a big fan of fish sauce so next time i probably will use a little bit less. Overall, it is delicious…
    Thanks for the recipe

    • Thank you Lina for the feedback. Vietnamese Cuisine is very big on fish sauce so if you cannot handle it very well, just cut it back and replace with salt next time. :D But the original one does have that fishy smell and taste, so it totally up to you.

      Let’s keep in touch

      Rose,

  3. So, apprently, there is a version that only has eggs and nothing else – and it puffs up liike that, too. I remember my momma making it when I was little; any idea how to make it?

  4. my dear , you made me hungry and missed my mother . It looks great . I ‘ll make it soon . Thanks for sharing your recipe .

    • Hi Korena,

      It is great to be helpful. I hope to hear feedback from your bf, soon. ;)

      btw, I am baking my first sourdough loaf thanks to your very intriguing and inspirational post about sourdough challah. Finger crossing for both of us.

      Rose,

      Rose,

        • Hi Korena,

          How are you?

          I want to update you with my sourdough baking as promised. It did not turn out really well. :( My dough felt very sticky when shaping and braiding, even though I had added more flour than in the recipe. It did not hold up its shape very well, and did not triple after 5 hours final proofing. I baked it anyway. It did rise in the oven, but when I cut it and tried it, it had really weird taste, sour and just that, no sweet at all. :(

          I think I won’t try sourdough again anytime soon. But thank you for the recipe, I suppose it works great in your kitchen an in many others as well. :)

          Rose,

            • I have started my starter I think for 3 weeks now, usually keep it in the fridge, feed every week. Before I bake that first bread, feed it for 2 days to become active again. And yes, that was the first sourdough I have ever made. :(

              Have you been baking with sourdough for long? Your loaf was a beauty. I still cannot believe that you just start yeast baking not long time ago.

              Rose,

              • I created my starter and made my first sourdough bread for the December 2011 Daring Bakers challenge, and since then I’ve been using it mostly for pancakes and no-knead bread. As far as “proper” sourdough baking goes, I’ve only actually made those danishes and that challah with it, but I have been baking since I was a little kid and doing a lot of yeast bread baking lately (the past year or so), so I’ve been getting a good feel for bread in general. I hope you don’t give up on sourdough completely – maybe you just need to find the right recipe! :) I’ve found The Fresh Loaf to be really helpful for techniques and recipes – I spent a lot of time browsing through posts and I think that’s maybe why I’ve been successful!

                • I forgot to ask – is your starter a batter starter (100% hydration) or a firm starter (60% hydration, I think)? That recipe called for a firm starter and definitely would have gone badly if made with a batter starter. That’s about the only thing I can think of…?

                  • Oh gosh, that is it. Mine is a 100% starter. :( No wonder why it felt very sticky, even after fermented. I still have no clue with sourdough starter. I should read more on TFL before I dare to try again. :(

                    Thank you so much for your suggestion. I hope I have a baking buddy to accompany each other through these. :)

                    Rose,

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