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Apr 21, 2008 01:03 PM

Help with Vietnamese food! Mysterious "White Ham"

I frequent a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese deli close to where I live in Seattle. Every time I go there I try and pick up something new in addition to my regular Bahn Mi.

This time I picked up something called White Ham. It is wrapped in foil and in the shape of a burrito; weighing roughly a pound. The ingredients said it contained flour, pork, ham and at least one other thing I can't remember.

I opened it today and it is the worst thing I have ever smelled! I unwrapped the foil and had to close it within 10 seconds because of the odour. I'm sure this food is edible, but I have no idea what to do with it. I did a google search and found nothing.

Is this actually ham, and if so how do I cook it? I appreciate all suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. Is it Cha Lua (also known as Gio Cha)? It has fish sauce in it. It's already cooked, and I use it as I would any cold cut.

    I am lucky to have three places near me that makes it fresh, in banana leaves (it leaves a wonderful flavor) instead of just aluminum foil.

    But it doesn't smell bad, nor is the smell very strong..if the ones you got are smelling bad, it might be spoiled :(

    1. Update!

      After gnomatic's reply I worked up the courage to take a bite. After unwrapping it fully it turns out the smell was coming from a weird cellophane/plastic that covered the meat. I guess it absorbed all the fish sauce because the meat smelled completely different. I took a bite and it was good! Now to try it on a sandwich.... Once again, I have found another surprise from my favorite deli.