Grilled pork and shrimp cake (Chả lụi, Cha lui) is a specialty food of Ham Tan district in Binh Thuan province. The roll has become more and more popular in the province. Especially in Phan Thiet city of the province, the food is sold popularly at street food stalls.
A portion of Ham Tan grilled pork and shrimp cake looks very impressive. The portion consists of a plate of some rolls, boiled duck/chicken egg wedges (optional), some pieces of Vietnamese fermented pork roll (optional), a plate of vegetables and herbs (sliced green mango, cucumber, salad, water mint, Thai basil, etc.), a plate of rice paper circular sectors, a small bowl of dipping sauce. To eat, wrap Cha lui, boiled egg, fermented pork roll, vegetables and herbs in rice paper, then dip in the sauce. It can win your heart at the first bite. The crispy crust, the sweet-tasty and tender pork and shrimp filling of Cha lui sweet, sour, chewy fermented pork roll, buttery egg yolk, tender egg white, fresh and aromatic herbs, sour mango and flavorful sauce blend perfectly in your mouth.
To make Ham Tan grilled pork and shrimp cake, they wrap marinated minced/ground shrimp and lean pork/pork belly in rice paper into a flat roll. They do not make the roll as round as Vietnamese fried roll (Nem rán, Nem ran, Chả giò) but flat so that it takes a short time to grill and can be served quickly right after the customer order the dish. The pork and shrimp roll is grilled on charcoal for about 5 minutes so that it is crispy outside, tender inside, and smelling. 4-5 rolls are placed on a skewer in order to grill easily and quickly. The cook must change the sides of the rolls continuously when grilling. A skillful cook can grill 4-5 skewers at the same time.
The dipping sauce is a key to this food. It is made from fish sauce, garlic, tomato, sugar, tamarind sauce and crushed peanuts. The tomato should be boiled, then ground before mixing with other ingredients.
Read more about What to eat in Phan Thiet?