Editor’s note: This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Chef Helen Nguyen of New York’s Saigon Social, who consulted with the author for this article. The HRB Blended Lunch: A regional discovery of food & wine. Nguyen, who has trained under Pat LaFrieda and is a meat expert herself, recommends striking up a relationship with your local butcher to source the best meat possible, and using the leanest cut of pork (or, optionally, beef) available when making nem chua (she explains fattier cuts tend to … This further decreases the pH of the sausage and leads to complex flavor development.”, The nicely bouncy, supple bite of nem chua is also partially due to sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), an alkaline salt that “helps modify muscle fibers to…bind them during the curing process,” explains Claire Thrift, a food scientist who has worked on packaged foods for a range of major businesses, such as Post. Even with those naturally lean cuts, Nguyen will still trim off as much excess fat as possible. Add 1-2 peppercorns to each sliver of garlic and chili. Very common food in Vietnam, rolling around by banana leaf. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. Whether served rolled into small logs, cut into squares, or bundled in tropical leaves, nem chua—a beloved type of Vietnamese cured pork—manages to deliver on almost every flavor we crave: sourness from lactic acid; a subtle sweetness imparted by banana leaves or sugar; a pungent bite from raw garlic; ample saltiness; floral spiciness from black pepper and funkiness from white pepper… When done, slice into small squares and wrap each individually with plastic wrap or banana leaf. Some even grill this during Tet but we enjoy it straight up. Since the quality of the meat and freshness of the grind is very important for food-safety reasons, we strongly advise buying larger pieces of pork and trimming and grinding them yourself. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap in opposite directions to form a tightly wound cylinder of even thickness. Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). It also changes the final color of the product to a more appealing red. Therefore, when visitors come to Thanh Hoa, they often choose nem chua as gifts for their families and relatives. Learn how to make this authentic recipe below. Nem should be ready in 24 hrs. “He would have a beer with dinner and we would eat nem. But if this is not done properly, the pork will quickly rot and cause poisoning. For pork, a tenderloin or loin is a great choice; for beef, beef eye round. The sourness should be present after 24 hrs and ready to eat. Trimming and grinding your own quality meat decreases the risk of contamination. Cover the pot when soaking.

Cured nem chua can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week. First, Anna Bauer, a food scientist who works for a major national packaged foods company, pointed out that nem chua made with this packet is a cured, but not fermented, product. The geographic footprint of nem chua isn’t limited to Vietnam—it edges into Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos, too. If Using a Meat Grinder: Place meat grinder parts in freezer to chill for 1-2 hours before processing. Rolling in Redfern: Báhn Mì and Rice Paper Rolls at Yellow Fever, Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Pop Up At The Star, Launch of Stockland’s ‘A to Z of Mmmm’ campaign + Miguel Maestre’s Recipe for BBQ Lamb Kofta, Beetroot Pita and Chargrilled Kale, Wining & Dining through the Hunter Valley, The Grand Sunday Brunch, Sheraton Grand Sydney, Chinese sweet potato & ginger dessert soup, Dim sum mastery – Hong Kong theme – Make your own siu mai and scallop & prawn dumplings, Nora and Yaz’s Bangladesh-style wedding feast, Introducing Melaka and a look at Nyonya cuisine, Test driving a Bessemer with a Chicken Pot Roast, Korean Food Crawl around Strathfield – an I Ate My Way Through Meetup. My mother was making nem chua (pronounced: nem joo) last week so I quickly took the opportunity to document the process of making this much loved snack. Nem Chua / Som Moo is a fermented pork sausage primarily made of raw pork and shredded pig skin that can be eaten as is or added to fried rice dishes, salads or rice rolls! Dare I say almost rubbery? The several weeks before Tet is a time of preparation. While we have already posted a few Tet festive foods, we’re going to post a short series on a few other Tet celebratory foods. X_X haha but the curious side of me bought it and I was HOOKED! There are many ways to make this. Using your hands spread the mixture until an even layer forms. Use the leanest cut of pork possible, typically extra lean loin meat or tenderloin. It has a lightness to it that most meats don’t have and provides a whole lot of flavour! “STPP has also been shown to increase migration of salt and nitrites into muscle fiber, ensuring even distribution and thus a safe and effective cure.” According to Bauer, the phosphates are also specifically binding to the water in the meat, which “helps the emulsification by not allowing syneresis [the oozing out of liquid].” The result contains more moisture and is easier to chew, Bauer says—similar to “a Slim Jim versus a jerky.”, For those concerned about nitrite, which is also listed in the ingredients (in sodium nitrite form), Thrift says that the sodium erythorbate present helps “inhibit nitrosamine formation, which are the carcinogenic compounds that form when nitrites and proteins interact in your gut, and are responsible for the bad reputation of cured and processed meats.”. Bite into a piece and you’ll see those little flecks peeking out against the pink flush of freshly ground pork loin, surrounded by specks of garlic, chile, and peppercorn. Repeat with remaining nem chua mixture, then refrigerate nem chua logs for at least 24 hours and up to 1 week before slicing into oblong rounds and eating. Nguyen, who has trained under Pat LaFrieda and is a meat expert herself, recommends striking up a relationship with your local butcher to source the best meat possible, and using the leanest cut of pork (or, optionally, beef) available when making nem chua (she explains fattier cuts tend to go rancid more quickly).

Nem Chua (Vietnamese fermented pork rolls Makes 20. In mixing bowl, combine the pork, sugar, pork skin, minced garlic, peppercorns, and the nem season mix. I find it almost has a pickled flavour and gives dishes that something something in the background. Food is such a funny thing , Your email address will not be published. Mix well and we mean mix really well–it might help to use plastic gloves here. Cut trimmed pork into roughly 2-inch chunks and arrange on a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Although Nguyen considers nem chua a “top 10 dish of Vietnam,” she says that “more education is needed about it [in the US], because people are worried about raw meat.” Hence, she compares nem chua to charcuterie for those unfamiliar with it: “It’s just cured meat, like a cured sausage, or a dry salami.” While the traditional procedure of making nem chua is to let the ground meat mixture ferment naturally outdoors for a few days, the “modernized” process involves a store-bought curing packet that shrinks the timeline to just 24 hours and dramatically reduces variability across batches. Add the pork, minced garlic, sugar, and salt to the food processor. Source – http://feeds.feedburner.com/seriouseats/recipes, Your email address will not be published. Your email address will not be published. We're always on the prowl for incredible local food experiences and we trust I Ate My Way Through will become your springboard to many fond memories and real connections. For those who aren’t familiar with nem chua, it is finely ground pork mince that is fermented, studded with peppercorns, Vietnamese mint, raw garlic and slices of fresh chilli, and then wrapped in a banana leaf. These contents are mixed thoroughly before being wrapped with aromatic, fresh leaves (usually in banana leaves) into small, boxy rolls before being stored for natural fermentation process for three to five days in a cool place before eating. In the latter two countries, the name of the finished product is typically written as naem (or sometimes nam) and the preparation also incorporates cooked sticky rice in the mixture. Remove to mixing bowl and work in the pork skin until evenly distributed. However, across all regions, nem chua can be enjoyed both as-is (it’s a “perfect accompaniment to an ice cold beer,” says Nguyen), as well as an ingredient in cooked dishes, like naem khao (a crispy rice salad made by frying and crumbling rice balls then mixing them with naem) and phat naem sai khai (naem stir-fried with egg). From time to time we also have it as a quick snack! Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. Why use nitrites at all? In turn, we hope to elevate and enrich your eating, cooking and travel adventures so you can squeeze more joy out of every day. While the process of making nem chua with the packet seasoning is very controlled, all the food scientists I interviewed encouraged those who make the dish to be mindful of food safety, cleanliness, and the use of quality meats.

Nguyen, who has trained under Pat LaFrieda and is a meat expert herself, recommends striking up a relationship with your local butcher to source the best meat possible, and using the leanest cut of pork (or, optionally, beef) available when making nem chua (she explains fattier cuts tend to go rancid more quickly).

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