Com Tam or Broken Rice is one of the typical dishes of Vietnamese people in Saigon. If once come to this city but not yet enjoying this dish, it is probably your huge regret. Saigon people eat Broken Rice as much as Hanoi people eat Pho, Bun Cha or sometimes more than that. With its special attraction, this dish has “covered” all over from the South to the North, from the street-food stall to luxury restaurants. Vietnamese people like broken rice so much that they can eat anytime: morning, noon, afternoon or evening.

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When eating Broken Rice, you will be served an attractive dish consisting of cooked broken rice, grilled pork chops, a little pickled vegetables, and chili garlic fish sauce. An indispensable highlight for the perfect Broken Rice is the greasy scallion oil.

In addition to grilled pork chops, Vietnamese people also add shredded pork skins, egg meatloaf, omelet egg or Vietnamese sausages served with broken rice, meeting the diverse needs of eaters.

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In order to prepare a plate of Broken Rice with full of accompanying dishes, it truly needs many tricky preparation stages of marinating meat, cooking broken rice, making pork skins, egg meatloaf, etc. and especially dipping sauce. Sweet and sour dipping sauce served with broken rice can be considered one of the most quintessential parts to bring soul to this dish. Whether the plate of Broken Rice is delicious or not depends a lot on the dipping sauce.

This dish is not an easy-making choice. But it is not satisfactory to treat Broken Rice as a difficult task. To cook this dish, we must understand it. With the secret Com Tam recipes below, you can definitely serve your family the delicious Broken Rice with the authentic taste of Saigon.

Ingredients for Com Tam Recipe

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  • Broken rice

You can choose to buy broken rice at a supermarket or grocery store. The quantity should depend on how many people you wish to serve. One note you should remember is that the well-done Broken Rice should be very spongy, not too dry or pasty. The important part when cooking Broken Rice lays in the right way to do marinated seasoning and grill pork chops.

  • 500 grams of pork chops – You should choose the one attached with the bone, having the fat on the outside. These pork chops will be sweeter and softer than others.
  • Spices to marinate the meat: 3 tbsp of honey, 5 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of chili sauce, 1 tbsp of salt, 1/2 cup of unsweetened fresh milk, some cloves of crushed  garlic.
  • Spices to make the dipping sauce: 1/2 cup of fish sauce, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of coconut water, 1 tbsp  of vinegar with minced garlic and chili
  • 1 cup of chopped scallion, 1/3 cup of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup of fresh coconut milk to grill meat
  • Accompanying dishes: cucumber, pickles, tomatoes, herbs or  whatever you like

How to make Broken Rice

Step 1: You keep the whole piece of pork chops, cut across them to roast the whole strip or split into each bone. Marinate with spices for 2 hours or overnight.

Spices in the marinated mixture include sugar, honey, fish sauce, salt, monosodium glutamate, shallot, garlic, condensed milk, and fresh water. Puree all of them and marinate with pork chops. The best option is that you marinate pork chops overnight so that the pork chops are absorbed with spices.

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Step 2: After the pork chops are marinated, you can grill it on a charcoal stove or an oven (preferably use the oven which is safe for your health). You put the meat on a tray wrapped by aluminum foil. Then, pour coconut milk and marinade into and place it in the middle of the oven. Turn on the lower fire at 250ºC, grill for 30 minutes. After that, you flip the ribs to grill for another 30 minutes.

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Step 3: Prepare egg meatloaf

Egg meatloaf is made from pureed pork, mixed well with soft soaked rice vermicelli, wood ear mushroom, eggs, spices, scallions and steamed.

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There are usually two types of steaming. The first should be done for a large bowl, then cut into pieces. The second type is steaming for each small cup. To get a nice and delicious batch of egg meatloaf, people often add egg yolk on the top to make them yellow. Delicious egg meatloaf must be cooked evenly, soft and fragrant.

Step 4: Prepare shredded pork skins for Broken Rice

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The shredded pork skin can be a special dish. Pork skins are boiled to reduce fat, finely chopped and mixed with powdered grilled rice. You can add boiled meat cut into strings. Delicious pork skin smells crunchy, fragrant , and is very suitable for the flavor of pork chops and egg meatloaf.

Step 5: Prepare the dipping sauce

In order to have a delicious Broken Rice plate, the critical point lays in not only grilled pork chops but also a cup of fish sauce. Here is the standard recipe:

– 1 tbsp of minced garlic, 1/2 tbsp of minced chili (depending on taste), 6 tbsp of sugar, 4 tbsp of fish sauce, 2 tbsp of boiling water, 1/2 lemons (if you eat a lot of sour, you can add more lemon juice).

– Making the right order will help chili, garlic, lemon to float beautifully on the dipping surface for many hours.

– Put minced chili, garlic into the cup. Add sugar in. Add lemon juice in and stir. Next, put the lemon cloves into the cup. Then, pour the boiled water and stir it well until having a mixed paste.

– Finally, add the fish sauce and stir to dissolve the sugar completely.

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– Following all the above steps to make sure the chili garlic float on the surface of dipping sauce. Must not change the order of steps.

– Minced chili garlic will be more delicious and look better than buying ready-to-eat products.

– Whether the sweet and sour sauce is delicious or not might depend much on the fish sauce. You should choose traditional fish sauce which is high protein.

– After making the fish sauce, you can add sugar directly to bring more sweetness to the dish. However, if you want to supplement fish sauce and sour, you should scoop them out into the cup and put in each small cup. Do not pour directly into the bowl because it will submerge garlic and chili, losing the aesthetic.

 Step 6: Prepare scallion oil

There are many different ways of processing and seasoning the scallion oil, but generally, it includes grease (or cooking oil), scallion, and a little spice to make the rich taste.

How to make onion fat: You add the spices and scallions in the bowl. Then, boil the oil and pour into the bowl, mix well. In the case of expecting the more well-done scallion oil, put the oil in a pan to heat. Next, add the scallions and spices to stir until it is cooked.

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 Step 7

After preparing the main dishes mentioned above, we begin to decorate for the delicious plate of Broken Rice with the authentic Saigon taste. First, scoop the rice into a small cup, lightly compresses then turns it upside down into a plate. Lay grilled pork chops, sliced egg meatloaf, and shredded pork skins on the rice plate.

The accompanying condiments will include sprinkled scallion oil on the top, salad or pickled vegetables, along with a cup of delicious dipping sauce mixed with a little sugar, lemon, and chili.

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