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21876493 posts
Member since Jul 2010
9744 posts

Let's Make Cha Trung Hap
"What the heck is Cha Trung Hap?"

It's also called Vietnamese egg cake or Vietnamese meat loaf and comes as a side on many rice plates. At first I just wondered what was in it, then was curious as to how it's made, and finally decided to make some myself.

First, we're gonna start with wood ear mushrooms, also known as black fungus. 0.5oz is soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes. Also, 1.5oz of Mung bean noodles gets soaked separately.

The mushrooms and noodles get chopped up. The mushrooms made a nifty squeaking noise when I cut them. I chopped them up fairly finely, but here's a pic of the cutting in process.

All of the ingredients go into a mixing bowl, including the mushrooms, noodles, ground pork (I used pork sausage), 6 eggs total with 2 yolks reserved for the final step, yellow onion, green onion, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic powder and fish sauce.

Now the fun part, and that's to don a pair of latex gloves and squish everything up really well. Here it is poured into my baking vessel.

Usually this dish is steamed on medium heat for around 20 minutes. I don't have a steamer large enough for the dish I was using so I improvised by putting my dish in a larger vessel and poured boiling water almost just over halfway up the sides. 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

It passed the toothpick test, so it's on to the final step, and that's to coat the top with the two reserved egg yolks. I encountered a glitch in that the cake was slightly convex on top after cooking, so the yolk sort of ran off to the sides and corners. I've since learned that I may need more yolks or to use layer by layer, letting each one set. The recipe I was following said to turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar when utilizing the egg yolk step. Here's a pic. The dense yellow of the yolk along the edges should have been consistent over the whole cake. My basting brush helped, but it wasn't a good attempt.

Here's a closeup after it was cut, and I can say the picture doesn't really do it justice. Not bad for a first attempt and now I know what to do better next time.

The following are not my pics, but it what it could and should look like.




I'm on a mission lately to make as many dishes I can that I've never made before. Another one accomplished.

This post was edited on 8/17 at 4:24 pm

Ole Miss Fan
God's Country
Member since Apr 2009
773 posts

re: Let's Make Cha Trung Hap
That does not look appetizing but IWEI

I Putt Out
Member since Feb 2011
17691 posts

re: Let's Make Cha Trung Hap
Looks like head cheese with cheddar on top. That being said I'd devour that.

Thanks for sharing

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Twenty 49
Member since Jun 2014
7799 posts

re: Let's Make Cha Trung Hap
Mmmmmm. Black fungus. Just like Grandma made.

Looks tasty; I'd sure give it a try. Have not noticed it on a Viet menu before.

Do you see this in restaurants or is it more of a home cook thing?

Member since Aug 2009
546 posts

re: Let's Make Cha Trung Hap
Nice job. I like cooking new things (ethnic dishes) too.

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