Vietnamese Vegetarian Egg Meatloaf (Chả Trứng Chay)

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This Vietnamese Vegetarian Egg Meatloaf substitutes meat with tofu, mushrooms, and other plant-based ingredients. The result is a delicious loaf that both vegetarians and meat-eaters will enjoy.

a plate of slices of Vietnamese vegetarian egg meatloaf (cha trung chay) with rice and soy sauce on the side.

Vietnamese egg meatloaf (chả trứng) is a popular dish in Southern cuisine which is often served with rice and grilled pork chops. Today’s recipe is our vegetarian version of this dish, called chả trứng chay. It is inspired by what is served at one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Saigon. We have tested with different tweaks to make sure the loaf turns out flavorful with a pleasant, tender texture.

Ingredients

a plate with main ingredients for this recipe.
Main ingredients

This vegetarian version still uses some of the ingredients in the traditional egg meatloaf, including dried wood-ear mushroom, shallots, and glass noodles. I recommend using either silken tofu or soft tofu, which provides a rich taste and acts as a binding agent together with the beaten eggs.

When trying firm tofu, we thought the texture was not tender enough and a bit dry for our likings. So save the firm one for recipes with fried tofu.

In our first batch, we only used tofu in place of meat and the loaf had too much tofu taste – it was too similar to eating plain tofu. As a result, we added fresh mushrooms to reduce the tofu taste as well as add more complex, deep flavors and textures to the loaf.

Recipe Overview

This Vietnamese vegetarian egg meatloaf is very simple to make. First, you will need to cut and chop all the ingredients, including mushrooms, glass noodles, and carrots finely. If this sounds too tedious, I think you can blitz them away in a food processor.

plates containing chopped and prepped ingredients for the recipe.
Prepped ingredients

An important step you should not skip when making this recipe is sautéing the chopped mushrooms and veggies. This step ensures all ingredients will be cooked evenly, softened and develop flavors enough. If you skip it and go straight to the steaming step, you may find that carrots still have too much crunch and shallots still have too much rawness.

The tofu will need to be mashed, and then we will mix everything thoroughly and steam in a heat-proofed pan until firm and cooked through. The final step will be brushing the top of the loaf with beaten egg yolks.

the mixture for the egg loaf in a glass pan.
Brushing the top of the loaf with beaten egg yolks.

We’ve been adding more meatless dishes to our dinner rotation in the last few years, and now we enjoy vegetarian options just as much as meat dishes. We hope you will give this Vietnamese vegetarian loaf a try. You can serve it with rice, soy sauce on the side and a soup, such as this lotus root soup with goji berries.

⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

a plate with slices of Vietnamese vegetarian egg loaf.

Vietnamese Vegetarian Egg Meatloaf (Cha Trung Chay)

This Vietnamese vegetarian egg meatloaf is an easy plant-based side dish or main dish both vegetarians and meat-eaters will enjoy. It is a healthy and versatile addition to any meal.
Author: Sophie
No ratings yet
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
 

  • 9-10 oz silken tofu (or soft tofu)
  • 0.25 oz dried wood-ear mushrooms
  • 1.25 oz dried glass noodles
  • cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots (about 2-3 shallots)
  • 1.5 oz fresh mushrooms, diced (such as king oyster mushrooms, about ½ cup diced)
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots (about half a carrot, 40g)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, with one yolk set aside separately

Instructions
 

  • Wrap the tofu block in several layers of paper towel. Place a moderately heavy object on top to drain out excess water while you prepare other ingredients. 
  • Cover dried wood-ear mushrooms with hot water to rehydrate them. Then julienne and finely chop.
  • Soak glass noodles in warm water until they are pliable. Cut into small pieces, about ½ – 1 inch long.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough cooking oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add minced shallots. Sauté for about a minute until the shallots are fragrant and softened.
  • Add the diced mushrooms and diced carrots to the skillet. Continue to stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the chopped wood-ear mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the glass noodle and ½ teaspoon sesame oil. Give everything a few more stirs (about 20-30 seconds), then remove from the heat.
  • Place the tofu in a large mixing bowl. Either use your fingers or a fork to mash it finely. Add the mixture of mushroom, carrot, and noodles to the bowl together with salt, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to a heat-proofed pan lined with parchment paper and cover it with foil. Set up a steamer and steam the loaf for about 20-25 minutes with the steamer lid closed.
  • Mix the remaining egg yolk with the remaining sesame oil. Open the steamer, remove the foil covering the loaf and brush the top with the egg yolk. Adjust the heat to medium-low and keep the lid of the steamer slightly askew. Steam for another 4-5 minutes to set the top of the loaf.
  • Take the loaf out of the steamer. Let it cool down a bit before slicing it to have a clean cut. Serve with some soy sauce on the side.

Notes

This recipe can serve 3-4 people as a side dish or 2 people as a main dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1461IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizers and Side dishes, Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: vietnamese vegetarian recipes
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