When I decided I wanted to make my own Banh Mi sandwich, a Vietnamese classic street food item, I realized I needed to learn how to make Cha Lua (Vietnamese Ham aka Pork Roll). It may seem a little intimidating at first, but it really is quite easy.
I made a trip to my favorite Asian Market, and got the ingredients, pulled out my bamboo steamer, and in a snap…I had homemade Cha Lua!
The Loon and I were really surprised at how delicious it is. Obviously, its great on Banh Mi sandwiches, but it’s great in a grilled cheese and tomato sammy, or used in a Ramen noodle soup, or by itself with soy and hot sauce.
Really, really good…and a lot of fun to make! Go for it
- 2 & ½ lbs lean ground pork (or, take a pork tenderloin, cut it into smaller pieces, and pulse in your food processor)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce*
- ½ teaspoon salt (I use Kosher)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 package Alsa baking powder (about 1 tablespoon)**
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour**
- ⅔ cup warm water
- *available in the Asian section of supermarkets, or in Asian Food Markets
- **available at Asian Food Markets
- Place meat in food processor and add the fish sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Pulse until fully incorporated.
- Add the baking powder and flour to the warm water (do not prep this mixture until just before you are ready to add it to the meat mixture).
- Pour the wet mixture into the meat mixture, and process for 30 seconds.
- Place the meat mixture in a medium bowl, cover, and place in fridge for overnight.
- The next day, remove the meat from the fridge, and divide into two loaves.
- Wrap each loaf tightly with plastic wrap (Saran Wrap works well). Repeat with another layer of wrap.
- Tie kitchen string around each loaf, lengthwise, and several times width-wise.
- Steam the loaves for 30 minutes.
- Remove the string and plastic wrap and slice.