Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vietnamese Ham/Sausage - Cha Lua

Growing up, Cha Lua was one of my Mom's specialties. I noticed that every suitor that came into my life, some how managed to persuade my mom to make this. Even my hubby, today, looks forward to my parents visiting because of this.

Why haven't I made it? I didn't have a food processor to grind up the meat...that is, until now. I got one as a gift and since this past week was New Year's for us, I decided to celebrate it by making a lot of the time honored traditional food we have during this celebration. I'm happy to say that it was a success and this recipe will definitely be added to my cook book.

Cha Lua

2 lbs ground pork
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 shallot, mined
2 cloves garlic, mined
1/2 cup ice water
2 tbsp tapioca flour or starch
1 bag Alsa Baking Powder or any single action Baking Powder (2 tsp)
Banana Leaves, rinsed and pat dried
string or twine


Mix the pork, fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, shallot, and garlic in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, add ice water, tapioca flour or start and mix well. Then add baking powder and mix. Baking powder will cause the liquid to foam.

Pour the water mixture into the pork bowl and mix well. Cover and place it in the freezer for about 3 hours or place in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove from the freezer and working with half, place it in the food processor. Process until it is completely smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides for an even mixture.

The consistency will be that of frosting.

Transfer the beef paste to another bowl. Place it back into the refrigerator until you are ready to wrap it up. Wrap the pork paste in at least 3 layers of banana leaves. I found the leaves at the Asian market in the frozen section.

Rinse the leaves, cut into a smaller size, and then pat dry. Add a coat of vegetable oil to prevent the pork paste from sticking.

Tightly wrap into a cylindrical shape, folding in the ends and then rolling the remaining banana leaves up. Use string to tie it tightly and steam until cooked. The large rolls took 1 hour and 15 minutes while the smaller one took an hour to steam.

When done, unwrap and slice. It keeps for months stored in the freezer.

Cha Lua is very versatile. It could be eaten just as such,

added to noodle dishes or to sandwiches.

Here's my lunch. It consists of slices of cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and a little salt and pepper. It is so yummy. Bon Appetite. Having it three ways for three meals, my hubby is definitely patting his back for getting me that food processor.

1 comment:

  1. I just made cha lua for the new year. I make two kinds, chicken and pork. Both are yummy.


Related Posts with Thumbnails