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+ servings

Cha Lua Gio Song Vietnamese Ham

Gio lua is the pork paste that is the base of many different types of cha. Cha lua is steamed gio lua. Both are essential ingredients for many Vietnamese dishes. Fried cha lua is called cha chien.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: cha, pork
Servings: 10
Calories: 3771kcal
Author: Hong and Kim



  • 5 lbs pork loin finely ground
  • 3 cup water
  • 7 oz potato starch
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 3 packet Alsa baking powder found in Vietnamese groceries
  • 1 packet Banana leaves


  • In large mixing bowl add fish sauce, sugar, salt, potato starch and mix well. Add the finely ground pork and mix well until all the liquid has been absorbed into the pork. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and microwave for 20s and test the seasoning. Adjust to taste. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, set a large steamer and bring to boil. You need to whip the mixture either with stand mixer with paddle attachment or food processor. Work in small batches and whip the mixture one more until it's glossy and smooth.  It's very important to keep the mixture cold, so only work in small batches and keep remainder in the fridge. The texture should be very smooth--stop here if you're just making gio song.

Cha Lua

  • If you want cha lua, take small portions and wrap in either banana leaf or in plastic wrap. Steam until the internal temperature of the cha hits 165. Please see video above.


You can substitute with other lean meats such as chicken. Fried cha lua is called cha chien. 


Sodium: 9616mg | Calcium: 465mg | Vitamin C: 8mg | Sugar: 21g | Fiber: 12g | Potassium: 10636mg | Cholesterol: 1429mg | Calories: 3771kcal | Saturated Fat: 28g | Fat: 93g | Protein: 524g | Carbohydrates: 180g | Iron: 16mg
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