Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf for The National Rice Month
Living on my own in a different country means I have to think about everything twice before making a purchase. I’ve been trying to keep my budget under $30 for each item because I believe there is always an alternative way to get thing done without buying expensive stuffs. With that being said, I have to break the rule from time to time when it comes to cooking and baking. Some recipes require a specific type of equipment in order to archive the best result. One of those is this Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf recipe.
Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf is a savoury breakfast or lunch dish. It can be found in any Vietnamese restaurant that offers rice dishes such as cơm tấm. The dish is either steamed or baked. Either way, it’s preferably cooked in a loaf pan in order to get its classic shape and texture. A traditional egg meatloaf serving portion is a rectangle shaped piece of egg with crunchy edge all around and soft juicy center filled with meat, clear noodle, mushroom, crab meat and egg.
I remember refusing to eat this dish because of the way it looks when I was young. One of my turn-offs was the black mushroom in the dish. It’s called wood ear mushroom. Yup it doesn’t sound great either. It’s back and brown-ish, it’s a crunchy and slightly chewy texture, and it’s technically vegetable. As a judgmental kid as I was (I’m not saying I’m not judgmental anymore, I just evolved into a judgmental adult lol), there was no way I got myself to enjoy this dish. However, I slowly learned how to enjoy this gift from the forest by trying different recipes using this mushroom as the main ingredient.
The first time I made this recipe was a couple of years ago. It all started when I found my passion with baking. I considered it as the second level of my cooking journey. I had to save my allowances for months to buy a tiny little oven. Even though it was super small, we couldn’t fit it into our tiny tiny tiny kitchen. I ended up putting the oven in my BEDROOM. Whenever we needed to bake something, I would need to make it in the kitchen and bring it to the 3rd floor to bake it. It was truly good exercise sessions because I had to keep running up and down between the 1st and 3rd floor to make sure everything gonna turn out “perfect”.
KYI, do you know September is the national rice month in the US? I just recently find out about it too. This really make me think about how much as a Vietnamese should I appreciate the rice. I eat rice almost every single day of my life. It’s been a large part of my food culture. We have rice dishes specifically for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night food. We love rice so much that we have created endless side dishes to serve along with it. This recipe is definitely just a tiny little gem in a whole dictionary of side dish recipes. I really can’t wait to search through the whole book to learn about the culture and feel the joy of cooking.
Vietnamese Egg Meatloaf