Monday, October 14, 2013
Cha Lua -Let's Try Vietnamese Ham
Cha Lua, or Vietnamese ham, is a staple of the Vietnamese diet and often found on the table during Tét--the celebration of the New Year. During a recent trip down to Little Saigon (on a bánh mi run), we randomly picked up a cha lua and brought it home to give it a try. It was pretty bland right out of the banana leaves, with a rubbery consistency--but these characteristics make it a pretty versatile ingredient in many dishes--much the same as tofu, but a meat version. I ended up slicing and marinating the ham in chili and soy sauce with curry and garlic powder and frying up the slices to make an awesome bánh mi burger--which was delicious; I will definitely be making again in the near future. Take a look at an exceptionally delicious Bánh Mì Hamburger I made using cha lua and ground beef. Take a look at a traditional Bánh Mì Sandwich.