Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf (Cha Trung)

Vietnamese egg meatloaf in a fry pan

Vietnamese egg meatloaf is a very traditional dish that is simple and cheap to make. This meatloaf is usually eaten with white rice, including Vietnamese special broken rice (com tam) where it can be used as the egg component. It’s also seriously good chilled. Cut any leftovers into wedges and store in the fridge, and you’ll have a great snack to grab whenever you’re feeling peckish.

If you are wondering if this dish tastes like a Western-style meat loaf then no. It tastes totally different but is a similar concept – mince, mixed with vegetables and seasoning, then baked. Instead of a sticky tomato sauce glaze, it is topped with a bright egg yolks to give its iconic yellow finish.

Today’s Recipe is Sponsored by Tefal and Kitchenware Australia

Thank you Kitchenware Australia for supplying us with our new Tefal Jamie Oliver Cooks Classic Induction Non-Stick Hard Anodised frypan!

This pan is very versatile since it can be used on the stovetop and oven, making it great for dishes like Vietnamese egg meatloaf which use both appliances. We used this on our induction stovetop, and it of course can be used on gas stovetops too.

We really loved the non-stick properties of this fry pan. Before we got this fry pan, the biggest challenge we had with this recipe was getting it to not stick. We tried various non-stick baking tins and ovenproof dishes, coating with oil etc, but it was really having a good quality non-stick fry pan that made the biggest difference. We had ZERO STICKING with this pan, and were so happy with this result.

Because the non-stick properties worked so well, the pan was also super easy to clean.

The frypan also has a great handle that is comfortable and easy to grip. It does get hot in the oven, so make sure you use oven mitts – but otherwise it can be transported from the stovetop to the oven and back out again with great ease.

Our Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Our meatloaf recipe differs slightly to the traditional version. We have tweaked the recipe to my family’s preferences which we have listed below:

  • We like to add more eggs and noodles to help the meatloaf hold better, so it’s firmer and less crumbly. The noodles also help absorb excess moisture, which prevents large water bubbles forming in the meatloaf.
  • Traditionally, this meatloaf is steamed in steamers or a large wok. Our version however is baked in the oven which we find easier and less messy.
  • We use no prawns in our recipe to keep costs and prep time down. It is my opinion that prawns do not make the dish any better.

What Goes In Our Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Our family egg meatloaf contains:

  • Pork mince
  • Eggs
  • Black fungus (wood ear mushrooms)
  • Vermicelli bean thread noodles
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fish sauce
  • Spring onions
  • Chicken powder (optional)

Making Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Preparing the Ingredients

  • Onions and garlic – I like to finely chop the onions and garlic first, then fry them in the pan to get a stronger aroma and taste. This is an optional step though.
  • Black fungus (wood ear mushrooms) – soften by soaking them in boiling water for 20 minutes then roughly chopping them into small pieces.
  • Vermicelli bean noodles – soak for two minutes then drain. Don’t soak the noodles for too long since we want the noodles to absorb the excess moisture in the meatloaf – they’ll do this better if they are still a bit dry. Use a pair of scissors to cut them into 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch lengths. Be sure to cut them small to avoid them sticking out of the top and becoming very hard after baking.
  • Eggs – our recipe uses six eggs. Separate two yolks and store in the fridge for later. The yolks will be used as the topping, so it’s worth taking your time to separate the yolks carefully to ensure you get a bright yellow/orange finish. Beat the remaining four whole eggs and two egg whites.
  • Pork mince – any type pork mince (lean, extra lean etc) will do for this recipe.
  • Spring onion / scallion – finely chop the green part of a spring onion only for this recipe.

Combining Everything Together

Combine all ingredients other than the eggs in a large mixing bowl with your hands.

Add the beaten eggs (i.e. the four whole eggs and two egg whites) and gently combine with the rest of the ingredients. For best results, use your hands and run the mixture in between your fingers until the egg and pork become one. By using your hands and mixing gently you will avoid creating too many air bubbles.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, to allow it to come together.

Baking the Egg Meatloaf

Before you make this dish, it is important you have a non-stick oven-safe frypan or baking dish since this meatloaf will stick. If you don’t have one, line the bottom of your ovenproof frypan / baking dish with baking paper.

After adding the mixture to the frypan / baking dish, always smooth out the top with a spatula. Make sure to push down any bean thread noodles that are poking through the surface of the meatloaf. Any noodles that poke through will become very hard when baked.

Bake the meatloaf for 32 minutes at 170 C / 340 F. The longer cooking time and lower temperature will prevent the top layer from ending up dry and hard (or worse, crispy and burnt).

After 32 minutes, check if the meatloaf is cooked, returning it to the oven if necessary. Beat the two egg yolks, then use a spatula to spread them evenly over the top of the meatloaf. Cook for another 3 minutes at the same temperature.

Note: The meatloaf will rise at the centre while cooking but will slowly even out once cooled.

How to Serve Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

You will often see this dish served as the egg component in Vietnamese special broken rice dish (com tam).

You can also just have it with white jasmine rice with a little soy sauce or by itself as a snack.

Other Rice Dishes You’ll Love

If you guys do make this recipe, please tag us at #scruffandsteph on InstagramPinterest and Facebook. We would love to see your creations!

Thank you for visiting our blog. We hope you enjoy our recipes!

Scruff & Steph

Vietnamese egg meatloaf in a black non-stick fry pan.

Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf

Scruff
Vietnamese egg meatloaf is a very traditional dish that is simple and cheap to make. This meatloaf is usually eaten with white rice, including Vietnamese special broken rice (com tam) where it can be used as the egg component. It's also seriously good chilled. Cut any leftovers into wedges and store in the fridge, and you'll have a great snack to grab whenever you're feeling peckish.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Rice Dish
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4
Calories 79 kcal

Equipment

  • Non-stick oven-safe fry pan / baking dish (Note 1)

Ingredients
  

  • 8 gm black fungus / wood ear mushrooms
  • 20 gm glass noodles (bean vermicelli noodles) cut into 1.5 cm or ½ inch lengths
  • 300 gm pork mince
  • 6 eggs extra-large (700gm / dozen)
  • 1 tbsp spring onion green part only, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • ½ onion approx. 50 gm, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp chicken powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil

Instructions
 

  • Soak the black fungus in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain, then chop roughly chop into small pieces.
  • Soak the glass noodles for 2 minutes in cold water. Afterwards, drain the noodles and cut into 1.5 cm or ½ inch lengths with a pair of kitchen scissors.
  • Separate 2 yolks from their whites, place them in a separate bowl and store in the fridge. Beat the remaining four whole eggs and two egg whites and leave aside until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 C / 340 F.
  • Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium heat, then fry the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  • Place all the ingredients except the eggs and yolk into a mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently combine the ingredients.
  • Add the beaten eggs and combine by gently squeezing the mixture in between your fingers. Avoid making any air bubbles. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into your frypan / baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 32 minutes at 170 C / 340 F.
  • After 32 minutes, take out of the oven and check for doneness, returning to the oven if necessary. If done, beat the egg yolks and smooth over the top, then pop back in the oven for 3 minutes at the same temperature.

Notes

  1. The meatloaf is sticky. If you don’t own a non-stick fry pan or baking dish, then line any other oven-safe fry pan/dish with baking paper before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 15mgFiber: 1gCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf (Cha Trung)

  1. 1000 thanks Scruff and Steph. I tried this recipe straight away and it was superb. It’s been a long time favourite in my family, especially with the kids. My Mum’s refused to show us how she makes it. She tasted my effort and was silent, which must mean it’s very good.

    1. Hi Kimbo!!! You are very welcome! I’m glad your family liked the recipe… and your mum is a carbon copy of mine back in the day! Thank you for leaving us such a wonderful message.

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