Wow, I actually found the correct Vietnamese spelling in Word, way down on the bottom of the “symbols” list.
This is one of my favorite foods to eat of all time,and it’s turning out to be Michelle’s too. My Grandma used to make this a lot when I was just a tod, so lots of fond memories here. Plus, it’s VERY tasty, even if the name sounds a little bland. You’ll be surprised how much of this stuff you’ll gobble up and still want more. I can’t remember who asked me for this recipe, (and I apologize for how long it’s taken me to post this), but here it is. As with most Vietnamese cooking, you’ll spend the most time prepping — the cooking itself is rather simple. Altogether, including cooking time, I’d say it took about an hour. You can, of course, prepare the ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to cook. Since I usually like to make extra for lunches the next day, this recipe is probably twice the amount you’d want for a dinner, so adjust accordingly.
Also, with the regards to the “steaming” aspect. I pour the egg mixture into a big deep round Pyrex baking dish (sprayed with a light film of olive oil beforehand). The baking dish I have comes with a lid — I don’t think you’ll need it, however, but use a lid if you have one. Then I put the baking dish inside a big pot and fill it with water halfway up the baking dish. You can also do the same with a double boiler.
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped finely (or about 3 large shallots)
3 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 oz. bean thread noodles, soaked, chopped to about 1″ pieces
1 C. chopped shitake mushrooms
1 C. chopped wood ear
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 C. cilantro, chopped finely
Mix everything up well in a bowl and pour into a greased baking dish. I use olive oil spray. “Steam”, as described above, for about a half an hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Serve with rice and some sort of veggies — broccoli and grean beans are great. Dash with some soy sauce and sprinkle with some chili flakes and you’re in for a treat!
This recipe is very forgiving, so don’t be afraid to experiment. I’ve added dried shrimp or crab meat and it had turned out great! If you don’t like cilantro, try flat parsley. Or dill. Or chives. It’ll turn out awesome no matter what…
Another equally tasty, and probably faster, method is to cook this same mixture in a frying pan. You’ll need to adjust the amount so that it’s not too thick — probably no more than an inch or so. And you’ll need to flip it over, once one side has formed a slight brown “crust” to it. The flipping is what stops me from the fry method, since the last time I tried this, I got it all over the stove. I suppose if you use a plate….
Oh, I almost forgot to mention this, but some folks will add a layer of beaten egg yolks on top of the mixture (towards the end of the steaming period) to get that deep yellow/golden layer on top. While it’s prettier to look at, I don’t find it necessarily adds anything to the flavor of the dish. But it is the traditional style, and if you want to stick to tradition, try it out…