Com Tam, also known as Vietnamese Broken Rice, is a popular street food dish that showcases the diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. This humble yet delicious meal features fragrant broken rice served with grilled pork, various accompaniments, and a flavorful sauce. In this article, we will guide you through an authentic Com Tam recipe, allowing you to savor the unique and delightful flavors of this beloved Vietnamese dish.
For the grilled pork:
1 pound pork chops, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the broken rice:
2 cups broken rice
3 cups water
For the accompaniments:
Fresh lettuce leaves
Pickled carrots and daikon radish
Fried egg (optional)
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the grilled pork
In a bowl, combine the sliced pork chops, minced garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey or sugar, and vegetable oil. Mix well to coat the pork evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight for more flavor. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and grill the pork chops for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through and slightly charred. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook the broken rice
Rinse the broken rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed broken rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and cooked. Remove from heat and let it sit for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
Step 3: Prepare the accompaniments
Arrange fresh lettuce leaves, sliced cucumbers, tomato wedges, pickled carrots and daikon radish, and a fried egg (if using) on a plate. These accompaniments will add freshness and texture to the dish.
Step 4: Make the sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, minced garlic, and chopped chili pepper (if using) until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Step 5: Assemble and serve
Divide the cooked broken rice into individual serving plates. Top each plate with grilled pork slices. Serve alongside the fresh accompaniments and drizzle the sauce over the pork and rice. Mix and match the flavors and textures to create your own unique combination.
Optional: Customization and Variations
Add a side of pickled vegetables or a Vietnamese dipping sauce for extra tanginess. Include grilled shrimp or beef as an alternative to pork. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro for added freshness.
With this authentic Com Tam recipe, you can experience the delightful flavors of Vietnamese Broken Rice. The combination of tender grilled pork, fragrant broken rice, fresh accompaniments, and a flavorful sauce creates a satisfying and vibrant dish. Indulge in the textures and flavors of Vietnam as you enjoy the unique blend of ingredients in every bite of Com Tam. Explore the world of Vietnamese cuisine and savor this beloved street food dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of food lovers around the globe.