Vietnamese Steamed Egg Meatloaf (Chả Trứng Hấp)

Chả Trứng Hấp, or “chả” for short, or Vietnamese Steamed Egg Meatloaf and is one of my favorite things to eat along with broken rice (cơm tấm). This traditional dish is extremely easy to make; and just involves having a large enough steamer to hold a 12” baking pan. The ground meat mixed with mushrooms, onions and shrimp, but the secret ingredient is a crab paste that makes the whole thing taste like a delicious crab cake, without the crab cake prices! This meat mixture is steamed first and finally finished off with an addition of a a second steaming step with the silky egg yolk layer on top for its bright and golden yellow color. What results is a spongy, savory, and delicious meatloaf!

Ingredients (makes one 12” meatloaf)
-1 g mushroom seasoning
-10.5 g table salt
-20.5 g sugar
-16.5 g rice flour
-4 yolks from large eggs (beaten)
-20 oz dry vermicelli noodles
-1/4 cup wood-ear mushrooms, diced
-1/2 large yellow onion, diced
-13 large shrimp
-0.5 lb ground pork
-1.75 oz crab paste

Procedure
1) Cut dry vermicelli noodles into 1/2 inch sticks, and re-wet by soaking in water until soft and hydrated
2) Mix mushroom seasoning, table salt, sugar, rice flour, egg white, diced onion, vermicelli, woodear mushroom, shrimp, ground beef, and crab paste.
3) Spray 12” circular baking pan with non-stick spray.
4) Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with water and bring to a boil.
5) Put the pan containing the chả into the steamer (above the water) and steam, covered, for 35 minutes
6) Remove the chả from the steamer and pour out excess moisture from the pan
7) Brush the beaten egg yolk on top of the partially steamed chả, making a yolk layer covering the top of the chả
8) Put the entire chả back in the steamer with the lid off until the egg layer on top is cooked
9) Remove the chả from the steamer and let cool before serving

Tips/Notes
-Removing the excess moisture during the steaming process can help with the meatloaf texture and avoids from it being watery.

References:
Crab Paste Picture: https://www.amazon.com/Crab-Paste-Soya-Bean-jars/dp/B07DPC88BC

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