Cha Hue – Hue Style Vietnamese Ham

cha hue

Vietnamese hams, or chả is ubiquitous part of Vietnamese cuisine. But like many Vietnamese dishes, the people of each region add special touches to a dish and call it their own. And it’s no different with chả Huế, a relative unknowned compared with chả lụa. This ham originates from Huế, the ancestral capital of Vietnam and is often eaten as a snack and as a meat topping to the classic bún bò Huế soup. In fact, we’re always a tad disappointed when we don’t get a nugget of chả Huế in our soup. Why so? Well, to the generically mild pork paste giò sống, a generous amount of minced garlic and cracked pepper corns are added, transforming a typically mild chả into one with a delicious kick.

You can make your own pork paste or buy them premade in the frozen or refrigerated section of your Vietnamese market.  Individually wrapped and steamed in banana leaves, these make for great gifts when visiting friends or relatives, especially with the Lunar new year, Tet, right around the corner.  Here’s a short video on how to roll chả Huế.

Chả Huế

Yield: 10


1 lb raw pork paste (giò sống)
1 tbs of coarsely cracked white or black peppercorns
1 head of garlic finely minced
1/2 tbs sugar
1/2 ts fish sauce
~10-12 sheets of 4 x 6 inch banana leaves and thin 6x 1/4 inch banana leaf strips to tie


Prepare your steamer. Combine all the ingredients into a mixing bowl until well incorporated. You can pinch off 1/2 ts and microwave it for about 30s and season to taste. Add more garlic and/or peppercorns if you like it more spicy.

Place about 1 heaping tbs of mixture onto one end of the banana leaf. Fold over the side edges and roll the pork mixture. Seal with the banana strip by giving it several twists and tuck the loose ends under. See video above.

Steam for 10 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Enjoyed immediately or at room temperature.

cha hue

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8 Responses to “Cha Hue – Hue Style Vietnamese Ham”

  1. 1

    saVUryandsweet — January 30, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    Hi! I never realized that there was a difference between cha lua and cha hue – is the main difference the pepper? Cha was my chicken nugget growing up – my favorite thing to eat was cha and com (rice). Thank you so much for this recipe, my mom makes her own banh chung nowadays, maybe we can add homemade cha lua to the menu too!

  2. 2

    The Ravenous Couple — January 31, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    the main difference is the pepper and garlic so it has a much more spicier kick then the mild cha lua.

  3. 3

    Chuyen — March 7, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

    Did you have to soak the banana leaves in hot water to soften it before you use to wrap with the meat paste? Looks yummy! Thanks!

  4. 4

    The Ravenous Couple — March 11, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    if frozen, yes running it under warm water and drying it will help

  5. 5

    Sally — March 27, 2013 @ 12:08 am

    Love your blog! How long will these last if refrigerated?

  6. 6

    The Ravenous Couple — March 28, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

    maybe 1 week or so, any longer, just freeze.

  7. 7

    Anne — April 5, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    Hi chi, I tried just like your recipe, but how come mine came out dried. It’s tasted good just little dried. Is there a way to make it not too dry?. I did mixed well and turned it into paste before wrap.

  8. 8

    The Ravenous Couple — April 8, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    maybe try steam i for slightly less, sometimes if you over steam it becomes dry and wrinkled

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