Saigonese broken rice

Vietnamese broken rice always remind me of H, my best friend since high school. Back then, I rode my bicycle to school 2 days in the week with H (the other 3 days my dad will take me to school so my mom can pick me up in the afternoon and took me to my French class big grin). My high school didn’t have a dining hall, so students were to bring their own lunch, and on days that H’s mother was too busy to make her lunch, she would buy something for munch on her way to school. I remember that H usually buy this Vietnamese broken rice, simply because it has everything she loves: scallion oil, roasted pork chop, crispy fat cubes, pork skin tossed in roasted rice powder, and most importantly a sunny side up egg with a creamy runny yolk wink


I was not a fan of this dish back then, because I don’t like the texture of the broken rice (picky eater tongue), so I ended up not liking the whole dish. Now that I think about it, it’s a bit too extreme of me, because beside the broken rice, every other components in the dish are among my favourites, so I only have to replace the broken rice with medium grain rice when I make this dish. Basically, a complete plate of Vietnamese broken rice has the following components:

  • Rice (how to cook rice on stove top here)
  • Crispy fat cubes (how-to here)
  • Sunny side up egg or Vietnamese egg meatloaf (Vietnamese egg meatloaf recipe here)
  • Roasted pork chop
  • Scallion oil
  • Pork skin tossed in roasted rice powder
  • Pickled carrot, fresh tomato and cucumber (you don’t have to have all)
  • Light dipping sauce (how to make dipping sauce here)

When I decided to make this dish for Matthias, what troubled me the most was how to marinate and roast the pork chop so that it’s tender and flavourful. After reading some recipes online I decided to…bunch up all the tips and ingredients, mixing and tasting as I went, and fortunately the pork chop came out very tender ad tasty just like I wanted. Matthias finished his portion and still asked for a small bite from my dish laughing


I made this dish on my own so I started the marinating in the morning. When dinner time comes I started the rice. While waiting for the rice to cook I made the Vietnamese egg meatloaf mixture and bake it in the oven. While waiting for that to cook I cleaned and tossed the shredded pork skin in roasted rice powder, making scallion oil and crispy fat cubes. When the egg meatloaf is cooked I transferred it to a closed microwave to keep it warm, and finally stuck the pork chops in. It took me in total 40-50 minutes to prepare everything big grin

Công thức tiếng Việt: Cơm tấm Sài Gòn

A. Roasted pork chops


Preparation time: 3-4 hours (marinating time)

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2 people

* Ingredients:

  • 2 thin pork chops
  • 1/2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (can be replaced with 1 clove of garlic, finely minced)

Note: if you use fresh garlic, remember to take them all off the chops before roasting to prevent them from burning in the oven.

* Directions:

1. Clean the pork chops, use the end of a cooking knife handle to lightly beat the meat so the meat will be tenderer when cooked. Mix the cooking oil, soy sauce, condensed milk and garlic powder. Pour this mixture over the pork chops and let marinate for 3-4 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C, arrange the meat on a baking tray and put them in the oven. After 10 minutes, take the meat out, use a pastry brush or a spoon to cover the meat with the rest of the marinating liquid, turn the pork chop and put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes.

B. Scallion oil

Method 1: Chop the scallion and put in a bowl. Use a saucepan to boil some oil and poor over the chopped scallion, the hot oil will par-cook the scallion and reduce its smell.

Method 2: Chop the scallion, put in a bowl with some oil. Microwave for 1-2 minutes.

The amount of oil and scallion is up to your preference, but don’t use too much oil for it can overpower the scallion.

C. Shredded pork skin tossed in roasted rice powder

I bought frozen shredded pork skin and roasted rice powder from the Asian supermarket (roasted rice powder is riz-grille en poudre in French, photo below). Thaw the frozen shredded pork skin, soak them in diluted salt water for 1-2 minutes and rinse well, drain and then mix in the roasted rice powder, just enough so it evenly coats the pork skin.


Finally all that’s left to do is put some rice on the plate, drizzle scallion oil and some fat cubes on top, cut the pork chops into strips, place the sunny side up egg/Vietnamese egg meatloaf and the pork skin next to the rice, serve hot with light dipping sauce and enjoy wink


One thought on “Saigonese broken rice

  1. Pingback: Chicken rice | Miamivores

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