Traditional Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf Recipe

Cha Trung is a traditional Vietnamese Meatloaf recipe.

Also known as Cha Trung Hap, the dish can be baked or steamed, and typically includes ground pork, but can also be prepared with a mixture of minced shrimp or crab.

The popular Vietnamese comfort food dish is typically served as an entree alongside sliced cucumber and radish, fresh herbs and topped with a scallion oil sauce.

Our homemade Cha Trung recipe is simple and easy since you can make the meatloaf before dinner guests arrive. The dish is served sliced and can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.

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Save our Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf Recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf Recipe to Pinterest!

What Is Cha Trung?

Cha Trung Hap, also known as Vietnamese Meatloaf, is a popular Southeast Asian egg and pork dish.

Cha means “minced patty” and trung translates to “egg.”

Vietnamese Meatloaf features a mixture of ground meat, chopped vegetables, flavourful Asian sauces and cellophane glass noodles. Egg yolk is slathered on top of the meatloaf before steaming or baking so it has a yellow appearance when served.

Authentic Cha Trung is typically served with steamed rice, sliced cucumber and radish, fresh herbs and a scallion oil sauce.

Our Cha Trung recipe features ground pork but other recipes may include minced shrimp and crab as an additional protein source.

Traditional Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf recipe ingredients.
Traditional Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf recipe ingredients.

Travel to Vietnam by CookingCha Trung at Home

I love traveling through Asia.

My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

I spent over a month traveling by bus through Vietnam. I started in the south, spending a few days in Saigon before exploring the floating markets in the nearby Mekong Delta. I then took a series of night buses north making stops in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi.

What I found most fascinating is Vietnam’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each town in Vietnam had its own local speciality.

I fell in love with the exciting street food culture while eating in bustling cities like Hanoi and Saigon. Some of my most memorable Vietnamese meals feature slices of Cha Trung gobbled up on a sidewalk overlooking a busy intersection.

Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf filling features ground pork, onion and cellophane glass noodles.
Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf filling features ground pork, onion and cellophane glass noodles.

Where To Eat TraditionalCha Trung

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Southeast Asian restaurant that serves Vietnamese Meatloaf.

Haven’t traveled to Vietnam before? It may be helpful to first sample Cha Trung at a local Vietnamese restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can determine the best herbs and vegetables to serve on the side, ideal portion size and perfect side dishes to compliment the meal.

In Toronto, popular Vietnamese restaurants that may serve their own authentic Cha Trung recipe include Pinky’s Ca Phe, Pho Phuong, Pho Vistro, Anh Dao, Pho Hung, Pho Asia 21 or The Golden Turtle.

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Homemade Cha Trung can be baked or steamed in a loaf pan.
Homemade Cha Trung can be baked or steamed in a loaf pan.

Vietnamese Meatloaf Health Benefits

Our easy Chat Trung Hap recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Pork is an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of thiamin, selenium, niacin, vitamin B-6 and phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin and potassium.

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.

Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content  so are great at hydrating the body. To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fibre, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.

Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risks for heart disease. The radish is also a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow.

The eugenol in basil can block calcium channels, which may help to lower blood pressure. The essential oils in the herb can help to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Basil also contains magnesium, which can help to improve blood flow by allowing muscles and blood vessels to relax.

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals. 

Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health. 

Cha Trung features a distinctive yellow top thanks to egg yolk that is slathered over the meat filling.
Cha Trung features a distinctive yellow top thanks to egg yolk that is slathered over the meat filling.

Vietnamese Meatloaf Recipe Cooking Tips

This homemade Cha Trung recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time Vietnamese cooks!

  • Prepare the scallion oil sauce in a large nonstick skillet.
  • Bake or steam the Vietnamese Meatloaf in a bread loaf pan.
  • You can purchase Cellophane Glass Noodles online or at an Asian supermarket. They are distinctively chewy and are typically made of mung beans or sweet potato starch. Do not substitute with rice vermicelli noodles.
  • We’ve used ground pork in this recipe but you could use a combination of pork, shrimp and crab if you like seafood.
  • We’ve used button mushrooms in this recipe but you can substitute for Chinese Wood Ear.
  • If you like spicy food serve your favourite hot sauce at the table.
Vietnamese Meatloaf is served sliced with fresh herbs, cucumber, radish and scallion oil sauce.
Vietnamese Meatloaf is served sliced with fresh herbs, cucumber, radish and scallion oil sauce.

What To Serve withCha Trung

Vietnamese Meatloaf is typically served as a main course entree for lunch or dinner.

Cha Trung is served in slices warm or at room temperature alongside fresh herbs, sliced cucumber and radish, scallion oil and hot sauce.

If you’re hosting a Vietnamese dinner party or potluck, we suggest pairing this Cha Trung recipe with:

Vietnamese Meatloaf keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days so store it in an airtight container and enjoy as leftovers. Store leftover garnishes in individual containers or Ziplock bags to keep them fresh.

Vietnamese Meatloaf is a popular comfort food dish best served at lunch or dinner.
Vietnamese Meatloaf is a popular comfort food dish best served at lunch or dinner.

You May Also Enjoy These Pork Recipes…

Serve Cha Trung Hap topped with scallion oil.
Serve Cha Trung Hap topped with scallion oil.
Now you're an expert on how to make the best Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf recipe!

How To Make Traditional Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf

How to make easy traditional Cha Trung Hap. Our baked or steamed Vietnamese Meatloaf recipe is made with ground pork, egg and glass noodles.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Cha Trung, Vietnamese Meatloaf
Servings: 8
Calories: 390kcal

Equipment

  • Large Nonstick Skillet
  • Bread Loaf Pan
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • whisk

Ingredients

Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf

  • 1.6 oz Glass Noodles
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 cup Button Mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Spanish Onion minced
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 2 Eggs – separated egg and whites
  • 1/4 cup Fish Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Cucumbers sliced
  • 1/4 cup Radishes sliced
  • 1/4 cup Scallions chopped
  • 2 tbsp Basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp Mint chopped

Green Onion Sauce

  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 15 Scallions sliced

Instructions

Green Onion Sauce

  • Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium high heat. Add the green onions and stir until they sizzle, then remove from heat.

Cha Trung Vietnamese Meatloaf

  • Place the glass noodles in a large mixing bowl, cover with cold water and let rest for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Drain the noodles thoroughly, then cut into 4-inch lengths and return to the bowl. Add the ground pork, mushrooms, and onions. Using your hands, mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the two whole eggs with two egg whites and fish sauce. Pour the egg mixture over the meat mixture and stir to combine. Transfer the meat mixture to to a 6 cup greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, brush the meatloaf with the remaining egg yolks and finish baking. Spread the vegetables and herbs over a large serving dish. Slice the meatloaf and serve hot, drizzled with green onion sauce alongside small bowls of Thai Red Chili Sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.1g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 30.4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 747mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1.3g | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

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2 Comments

  1. You should try steaming it . That’s how my mom makes it and how I like to make it. The juices keep the meatloaf juicy and can be used to add a little more flavor to the rice. I also don’t bother with putting the layer of egg on top. I just mix it altogether with the meat and steam. It forms this jelly layer at the center… the most flavorful part.