As you sit down to savor a plate of Com Tam, the fragrant aroma of steaming rice and grilled meat wafts up to your nose, awakening your senses and making your mouth water in anticipation. This beloved dish is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine, known for its hearty and satisfying flavors that are sure to please any palate.
But what exactly is Com Tam, and what makes it so special? Join me as we explore the origins and ingredients of this delicious meal, and discover why it has become a must-try for anyone interested in experiencing the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese food.
- 2 cups broken rice (Com Tam rice)
- 1 pound pork shoulder, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 eggs
- 2 cucumbers, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup pickled carrots and daikon
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Rinse the broken rice thoroughly and soak it in water for at least 1 hour.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, vegetable oil, and black pepper. Add the thinly sliced pork shoulder and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill the marinated pork shoulder until fully cooked and slightly charred.
- In a pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pot. Reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until fully cooked.
- In a separate pan, fry the eggs sunny side up.
- To assemble the dish, place a mound of rice in the center of eachplate. Arrange the grilled pork, cucumber slices, tomato slices, and pickled carrots and daikon on top of the rice. Add a fried egg to each plate.
- Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
- Soak the broken rice for at least one hour before cooking to help it cook evenly and achieve a fluffy texture.
- Marinate the pork for at least 30 minutes to infuse it with flavor and make it tender.
- Grill the pork over high heat to achieve a slightly charred exterior and juicy interior.
- Use a non-stick pan to fry the eggs so that they do not stick to the pan.
- Serve the dish with fresh herbs such as cilantro and scallions to add brightness and freshness to the dish.
- You can also add other toppings such as shredded pork skin, steamed pork meatballs, or Vietnamese sausage to your Com Tam for extra flavor and texture.
- Don’t forget to serve the dish with a side of fish sauce for dipping. The salty and savory flavor of the fish sauce pairs perfectly with the rich and flavorful Com Tam.
How can I make sure the pork is cooked all the way through?
To make sure the pork is cooked all the way through, it is important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork. The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) followed by a 3-minute rest time.
When grilling the pork, make sure the grill is preheated to high heat, and place the pork on the grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until it is fully cooked through. You can also check for doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the pork slice, and making sure there is no pink or raw meat visible.
Another way to ensure that the pork is cooked through is to slice the pork into thinner pieces before marinating and grilling. This will help the pork cook more quickly and evenly, reducing the risk of undercooked or raw pork. Remember, it is important to handle raw pork carefully to avoid cross-contamination and to always wash your hands and any utensils or surfaces that come into contact with the raw pork.
What are some other ways to cook pork besides grilling?
There are many other ways to cook pork that can be used in making Com Tam or other Vietnamese dishes. Here are a few alternatives to grilling:
- Baking: Pork can be baked in the oven by placing the marinated pork in a baking dish and baking it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until cooked through, usually about 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the pork.
- Stir-frying: Thinly sliced pork can be stir-fried with vegetables and other seasonings in a wok or skillet over high heat for a quick and easy meal.
- Boiling: Pork can be boiled in a pot of water or broth for a simple and healthy preparation. This method is often used in making Vietnamese noodle soups such as pho.
- Braising: Pork can be braised in a flavorful liquid such as soy sauce, garlic, and ginger until it is tender and flavorful. This method is often used in making braised pork belly or other dishes with tender, slow-cooked pork.
- Roasting: Pork can be roasted in the oven at high heat to achieve a crispy exterior and juicy interior. This method is often used in making pork roast or other large cuts of pork.
Remember to always cook pork to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) to ensure it is safe to eat.
In conclusion, Com Tam is a delicious Vietnamese dish that combines steamed broken rice with grilled pork, fried egg, fresh vegetables, and pickled carrots and daikon. The dish is known for its savory and satisfying flavors, and is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine.
Whether you choose to grill, bake, stir-fry, boil, braise, or roast your pork, the key is to cook it to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) to ensure it is safe to eat. By following the tips and recipe outlined above, you can create a delicious and authentic Com Tam at home that will impress your friends and family and transport you to the vibrant streets of Vietnam.