Minced Pork Omelet-Trứng Chiȇn với Thịt Bằm/Chả Trứng Chiȇn

Vietnamese food

     If this Vietnamese humble homey dish made its way to Gordon Ramsay’s book, I think we should try, shouldn’t we?  I did not use oyster sauce to flavor the dish like him thoughbecause that is not like the dish I was growing up with.  His recipe is here.

  We use more pork than beef or chicken in home cooking.  When you’re heard a ground meat in a Vietnamese recipe, it usually is ground pork. That why we do not need to add  “heo” letter which means pork in Vietnamese name of this dish  but we all know that it is made with minced/ground  pork.  

Make 4 servings in a multiple course meal or 2 servings in a light meal

4 large eggs

1/4 lb pork or chicken, minced or coarsely ground (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp fish sauce
1 green onion, thinly sliced
A few sprig cilantro for garnish
1/4 tsp and 1/16 tsp ground black pepper
2-3 Tbs vegetable oil or pork fat
Cooked rice, veggie and dipping sauce to serve

1.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs lightly.  Then add minced pork, fish sauce, green onion,  1/4 tsp ground black pepper.  Continue whisking to break pork into small pieces.

2.   Heating 1 Tbs oil in a large (10-in. or 8-in.) non-stick pan over medium high heat until it shimmers and glistens ( near smoking point)  small drops of egg mixture should sizzle right away when being dropped to oil.  Add egg mixture in, cover and cook about 2-3 minutes until the bottom is golden brown and the egg is set around the edge.  Turn the heat down to medium. Use chopsticks or spoon pull  the  cooked edges to the center so some of the raw liquid egg will spread out and down underneath of cooked egg .  When the egg start to set enough to turn just about 1 or 2 minutes:  it is still moist and wet but not running like liquid.   Turn to the other side, and drizzle 1-2 tsp oil around the edge if the pan looks too dry, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes more until the pork is cooked through and the omelet is golden brown on both sides.  .  If you want to make thinner omelet, divide the egg mixture into two and cook two times or use smaller pan and small egg portions to make smaller omelets.  
2.  Use a spatula transfer omelet to a serving plate with or without folding it in half moon shape.  Garnish with cilantro and sprinkle a little bit ground black pepper for more flavor if you prefer.  Some time we save some green onion slices for decoration too.  Serve hot, warm or room temperature with cooked rice, veggie, and dipping sauce.

    If you want more flavor, stir one medium minced garlic clove and one medium minced Asian  shallot into hot oil before adding pork and egg mixture.
    If you mince or grind your own pork, save the trimmed fat to make pork cracklings
and use lard for frying egg if you want too.  
    Start to cook the egg with very hot oil and high heat to make the omelet texture spongy and more flavor.
     Pork can be seared first then adding egg mixture (beaten egg with other ingredient): covered and cook until the base is golden brown about 3-4 minutes.  However, the egg will not have much flavor like being cooked at the same time with raw pork.
    If you can not flip the egg in the air, slide the half cooked egg to a plate, then turn the pan upside down over the uncooked surface of the omelet.  Hold the plate tight to the pan and turn the whole thing over to get the egg back to the pan and continue frying the other side. 

Dipping sauce

1.  Fish sauce and regular soy sauce can be served on the side with this dish.  Pour some straight from the bottle to a small bowl with 1 or 2 small red chiles (whole or thinly slices)
2.  A dipping sauce make with fish sauce, garlic, chili, sugar and lime juice/vinegar can be used too. 
   1 garlic clove, finely crushed
   1 small red hot Thai chili, seeded, thinly sliced  
   2 Tbs fish sauce (I use three crabs brand)   
   2 Tbs water   
   2 Tbs sugar   
   1 Tbs vinegar or lime juice 
Mix all ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning per your preferred.  Let it mingles for at least 15 minutes. Store left over sauce in an air tight container in the fridge.  It is good for a few days. 

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