Com Tam Recipe

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vietnam saigon typical street food broken rice com tam with grilled pork ribs and

Com Tam is a popular Vietnamese dish that is known for its unique blend of flavors and textures. It is a simple yet satisfying dish that is made with broken rice, grilled pork, pickled vegetables, and fish sauce. The dish has gained popularity in recent years and is now a staple in Vietnamese cuisine.

The broken rice used in Com Tam is a type of rice that is broken during the milling process. It is shorter and thicker than regular rice and has a slightly chewy texture. The rice is cooked by boiling it in water until it becomes tender and fluffy. The grilled pork is marinated in a blend of spices, including sugar, fish sauce, and garlic, and then grilled until it is tender and juicy. The pickled vegetables add a tangy crunch to the dish, while the fish sauce provides a savory umami flavor.

Overall, Com Tam is a delicious and satisfying dish that is easy to make at home. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, anyone can create this popular Vietnamese dish. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, Com Tam is a great way to explore the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine and add some variety to your mealtime routine.

History of Com Tam

Com Tam, also known as Vietnamese Broken Rice, is a staple dish in Vietnamese cuisine that has a rich history. The dish originated in the southern region of Vietnam and was initially created as a way to use up broken rice grains that were considered to be of lower quality.

During the French colonial period, the dish was commonly consumed by the working-class population. Broken rice was a byproduct of the rice milling process, and it was cheaper than whole rice grains. Therefore, it became a popular choice for those who could not afford to buy whole rice grains.

Over time, the dish gained popularity and became a beloved food item in Vietnam. Today, Com Tam is enjoyed by people of all social classes and is available in restaurants and street food vendors throughout the country.

The dish is typically served with grilled pork chops, shredded pork skin, steamed egg meatloaf, and a side of pickled vegetables. The combination of these ingredients creates a unique flavor profile that is both savory and sweet.

In conclusion, Com Tam is a dish that has a rich history and has become an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine. Its popularity has grown beyond Vietnam, and it is now enjoyed by people all over the world.

Essential Ingredients

Com Tam is a traditional Vietnamese dish that is typically made with broken rice, grilled pork, and a variety of other ingredients. The dish is known for its unique texture and flavor, which is achieved through the use of specific ingredients. Here are some essential ingredients that are commonly used in Com Tam recipes:

Broken Rice

Broken rice is a type of rice that is broken into small pieces during the milling process. It is commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine and is a key ingredient in Com Tam. The broken rice is cooked in water until it becomes soft and fluffy, and is then served as the base of the dish.

Grilled Pork

Grilled pork is another essential ingredient in Com Tam. It is typically made by marinating pork in a mixture of sugar, fish sauce, garlic, and other seasonings, and then grilling it until it is cooked through. The grilled pork is then sliced into thin strips and served on top of the broken rice.

Nuoc Cham

Nuoc Cham is a Vietnamese dipping sauce that is commonly served with Com Tam. It is made by combining fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili peppers, and is used to add flavor and moisture to the dish.

Vegetables

Com Tam is often served with a variety of vegetables, such as pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, and lettuce. These vegetables add freshness and crunch to the dish, and help to balance out the rich flavors of the grilled pork and nuoc cham.

Overall, Com Tam is a dish that is made up of a variety of essential ingredients, each of which plays an important role in creating its unique flavor and texture. Whether you are making Com Tam at home or trying it at a Vietnamese restaurant, these ingredients are essential for achieving an authentic and delicious dish.

Preparing the Broken Rice

Com Tam is a Vietnamese dish that is made with broken rice, which is shorter and thicker than regular rice. Here are the steps to prepare the broken rice for Com Tam:

  1. Rinse the broken rice: Measure 2 cups of broken rice and rinse it thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear. This will remove any excess starch and impurities.
  2. Soak the broken rice: Soak the rinsed broken rice in water for at least an hour before cooking. This will help the rice cook evenly and prevent it from sticking to the pot.
  3. Cook the broken rice: There are different methods to cook broken rice, but the most common one is to use a pot on the stove. Add the soaked broken rice and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring it to a boil, stir it, and then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let it cook for about 15 – 20 minutes. After the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
  4. Serve the broken rice: Once the broken rice is cooked, it is ready to be served with the other components of Com Tam.

Preparing the broken rice is an essential step in making Com Tam. It is important to rinse and soak the rice before cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly and has a fluffy texture. The cooking process is simple and can be done on the stove with just a few ingredients.

Marinating the Pork

Marinating the pork is an essential step in making Com Tam, as it adds flavor and tenderness to the meat. There are several ways to marinate the pork, and the following recipe provides a basic marinade that can be adjusted to personal preference.

To marinate the pork, start by selecting a bone-in pork chop or pork shoulder. Cut the pork into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick, and place them in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients, which typically include sugar, fish sauce, salt, garlic, shallot, and a small amount of oil. You can also add other ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, or chili flakes to add more flavor.

Pour the marinade over the pork slices and mix well, making sure each slice is coated evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight for best results.

When ready to cook, remove the pork from the marinade and discard any excess liquid. Heat a grill or a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the pork for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through.

Once the pork is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it into bite-sized pieces. The marinated pork can then be served alongside broken rice, pickled vegetables, and a dipping sauce for a delicious and authentic Com Tam meal.

Making the Accompaniments

Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables are a common accompaniment to Com Tam. To make the pickled vegetables, julienne carrots, daikon radish, and cucumber. Place the vegetables in a bowl and add salt, sugar, and vinegar. Mix well and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The pickled vegetables add a tangy and refreshing flavor to the dish.

Scallion Oil

Scallion oil is a simple yet flavorful condiment that is often served with Com Tam. To make scallion oil, heat oil in a pan and add chopped scallions. Cook until the scallions are fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from heat and let cool. The scallion oil adds a savory and aromatic element to the dish.

Fried Egg

A fried egg is a popular addition to Com Tam. To make a fried egg, heat oil in a pan and crack an egg into the pan. Cook until the egg white is set and the yolk is still runny. The fried egg adds a rich and creamy texture to the dish.

Overall, these accompaniments complement the broken rice and meat in Com Tam, adding layers of flavor and texture to the dish.

Cooking the Pork

To make the perfect Com Tam, it is essential to cook the pork to perfection. The pork should be tender, juicy, and flavorful. Here are the steps to cook the pork for Com Tam:

  1. Marinate the Pork: Marinating the pork is crucial to infuse it with flavor. To prepare the marinade, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, vegetable oil, and black pepper in a bowl. Add thinly sliced pork to the marinade and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grill the Pork: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill the pork for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until it is cooked through and has grill marks.
  3. Rest the Pork: Once the pork is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes the pork more tender and juicy.
  4. Slice the Pork: After the pork has rested, slice it thinly against the grain. This ensures that the pork is tender and easy to chew.

By following these simple steps, you can make perfectly cooked pork for your Com Tam. Remember to marinate the pork for at least 30 minutes, grill it to perfection, let it rest, and slice it thinly against the grain.

Assembling the Dish

After all the components of the Com Tam recipe are ready, it’s time to assemble the dish. The dish is traditionally served on a plate with a bed of broken rice, topped with grilled pork chop, and accompanied by various sides and condiments.

To assemble the dish, start by placing a generous amount of broken rice on a plate. Then, add a grilled pork chop on top of the rice. The pork chop can be sliced or served whole, depending on personal preference.

Next, add some pickled vegetables, such as carrots and daikon, to the plate. These vegetables add a refreshing crunch and tangy flavor to the dish. Additionally, add some sliced cucumbers and tomatoes to the plate for a fresh and juicy taste.

To finish the dish, drizzle some Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nước chấm, over the pork chop and rice. This sauce is a crucial element of the dish and adds a sweet, salty, and sour flavor to the dish. Finally, garnish the dish with some chopped scallions and fried shallots for added texture and flavor.

Com Tam is often served with a side of soup, such as Canh Chua (sour soup) or Canh Bí Đỏ (red pumpkin soup), to balance out the richness of the dish. Additionally, it’s common to serve the dish with a side of extra dipping sauce for those who like to add more flavor to their rice and pork chop.

Overall, assembling the Com Tam dish is a simple and enjoyable process. With a few simple steps, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

Serving and Presentation

Com Tam is a dish that is typically served with a variety of accompaniments, which are meant to be mixed and matched to create a unique flavor profile. The dish is usually served on a large plate or platter, with the rice forming the base and the various toppings arranged on top.

One popular accompaniment is grilled pork, which is often marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and other seasonings. The pork is then grilled until it is charred and caramelized, giving it a smoky, sweet flavor that complements the nuttiness of the broken rice.

Another common topping is a fried egg, which is typically cooked sunny-side up or over-easy. The runny yolk adds richness and depth to the dish, while the crispy edges of the egg provide a textural contrast to the soft rice.

Other toppings may include pickled vegetables, such as carrots and daikon, which add a tangy, refreshing note to the dish. Fresh herbs like cilantro and mint can also be added for a burst of bright, herbaceous flavor.

To serve Com Tam, simply arrange the rice and toppings on a large plate or platter, and let diners mix and match as they please. The dish is typically served with a side of fish sauce-based dipping sauce, which can be drizzled over the rice and toppings to add even more flavor.

Overall, Com Tam is a versatile and customizable dish that can be tailored to suit a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer sweet, savory, tangy, or spicy flavors, there is sure to be a combination of toppings that will satisfy your palate.

Variations of Com Tam

Com Tam is a versatile dish that can be customized according to personal preferences. Here are some popular variations of Com Tam:

1. Com Tam Bi Cha

Com Tam Bi Cha is a popular variation of Com Tam that includes shredded pork skin (Bi) and pork patties (Cha) in addition to the chargrilled pork chops (Suon) and broken rice (Com Tam). The Bi is usually marinated with fish sauce, sugar, and shallots, while the Cha is made with ground pork, wood ear mushrooms, and fish sauce. This variation is often served with a side of pickled vegetables and a sweet and savory fish sauce-based dressing.

2. Com Tam Suon Nuong Sa

Com Tam Suon Nuong Sa is a sweet and savory variation of Com Tam that features chargrilled pork chops (Suon) marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, honey, and garlic. The dish is often served with a side of pickled vegetables, sliced cucumber, and a sweet and savory fish sauce-based dressing that is flavored with garlic, chili, and lime juice.

3. Com Tam Bi Suon Cha

Com Tam Bi Suon Cha is a combination of Com Tam Bi Cha and Com Tam Suon Nuong Sa. This variation includes all the ingredients of Com Tam Bi Cha, as well as the chargrilled pork chops (Suon) marinated in a sweet and savory mixture of fish sauce, sugar, honey, and garlic. The dish is often served with a side of pickled vegetables and a sweet and savory fish sauce-based dressing that is flavored with garlic, chili, and lime juice.

4. Com Tam Thit Nuong

Com Tam Thit Nuong is a simplified version of Com Tam that features only the chargrilled pork chops (Suon) and broken rice (Com Tam). The pork chops are marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, and garlic, and are often served with a side of pickled vegetables and a sweet and savory fish sauce-based dressing.

Overall, Com Tam is a delicious and versatile dish that can be customized according to personal preferences. Whether you prefer Bi Cha, Suon Nuong Sa, Bi Suon Cha, or Thit Nuong, there is a Com Tam variation that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

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