Learn how to make Cambodian lort cha (stir-fried rice pin noodles) with delicious stir-fry techniques and simple steps you need to know. Step-by-step photos and a recipe video are included.
I thought I was in heaven when I learned about this one stretch of the street here in Minnesota that is populated with some Southeast Asian restaurants (but no Indonesian restaurants, dang it!). Lots of Vietnamese, Laos, Thai, and Cambodian restaurants. Our kids love this Cambodian lort cha that we ordered at the Cambodian restaurants.
CAMBODIAN STIR-FRIED RICE PIN NOODLE
There are several different writings that I saw for lort cha. The restaurant we went to call it lot cha. Some wrote it as lod cha and loht chha. They are the same things. I suspect the “cha” or “chha” may mean “stir fry”. Just my guess because that’s what it means in the Hokkien dialect “char” 🙂
Lort cha is basically Cambodian-style stir-fried short rice noodles (rice pin noodles). Similar to the Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc rice pin noodles (which was what I used in this recipe) and also the stir-fried mee tai mak that is more popular in Singapore and Malaysia. Both use rice pin noodles.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE LORT CHA
Let’s talk ingredients, shall we? Lort cha is simple stir-fried noodles to make. Ingredients for the protein and vegetables can be swapped as you wish too. Nothing fancy really!
1. RICE PIN NOODLES
You can easily find this in most Asian grocery stores. I got the Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc (Rice pin noodles). Some people may blanch the noodles briefly in hot water or microwave it to separate the noodles before cooking as they tend to get hard after refrigeration. You can also use homemade rice pin noodles
Oyster sauce, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and a bit of sugar. This combination of seasonings adds amazing savory, sweet, and umami to the finished dish
I often use a bit of cornstarch to marinate meat (most Asians do). It helps to tenderize the meat
Garlic and green onion. The green onion is separated into green and white stalks. The white stalks are firmer and can withstand heat and that’s why we stir fry this part first with the garlic. The green part is more for “garnish”
I use sliced pork tenderloin and eggs in this post and leftover shredded chicken meat and eggs in the video. Feel free to use beef or chicken if you like. If you prefer meatless, you can just use eggs or fried eggs.
I use sliced cabbage and fresh mung bean sprouts in this post and yu choy in the video as I was out of mung bean sprouts. The mung bean sprouts add nice contrast of texture to the dish. You can use fresh greens like Chinese broccoli, broccolini, bok choy. Just to mention a few.
HOW TO COOK CAMBODIAN LORT CHA IN 4 SIMPLE STEPS
STEP ONE: MARINATE AND COOK THE RAW MEAT FIRST
1. Thinly slice the pork tenderloin and then marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature
2. Preheat your wok/skillet until really stonking hot and then add cooking oil and cook the pork slices and then remove from the wok/skillet
STEP TWO: COOK THE VEGGIE AND EGGS NEXT
1. Wipe the wok/skillet clean if needed. Add cooking oil and bring it back to hot. Stir-fry aromatics until really fragrant
2. Add the cabbage slices. Stir fry briefly and then splash with about 1 Tbsp of hot water to help soften the vegetable
3. Push everything to the side of the wok and then crack in two eggs. Let them cook undisturbed and then scramble the yolks and start stir frying
STEP THREE: COOK THE NOODLES
1. Add the rice pin noodles followed by the seasonings and the meat you cooker earlier. If you use leftover cooked meat instead, add them here. Stir to mix so the seasonings coat everything
STEP FOUR: COOK WITH RESIDUAL HEAT
1. Add pork slices back along with the mung bean sprouts and green onion. Turn off the heat and continue to stir until the green part of the green onion soften slightly and the bean sprouts are cooked but still crunchy
And here you are, Lort Cha is ready to be served!!
HELPFUL KITCHEN GADGETS OR TOOLS TO MAKE LORT CHA
Did you make this Cambodian lort cha recipe?
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How To Make Cambodian Lort Cha (Stir-fried Rice Pin Noodles)
- 800 gr rice pin noodles (banh bot loc) or known as rice pin noodles
- 8 oz pork tenderloin thinly sliced
- ⅔ cups hot water divided
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 4 stalks green onion separate the white and green part
Vegetables (you can use whatever you like):
- 2 cups sliced cabbage
- 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- I use store-bought rice pin noodles in this post and homemade rice pin noodles in the video. Sometimes they clump together and hard after refrigeration. You can briefly reheat in a microwave until just warm and then just roughly separate them by hands. Or you can bring a large pot of water to a boil and then briefly cook it for 30 seconds or so and then rinse with cold water and they can be easily separated by hands. Toss with a bit of soy sauce and dark soy sauce
- Mix all the seasonings and set aside
Marinate meat and get things ready:
- Place the pork slices or whatever you use in a mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients and mix with your clean hands. Cover and marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes while you prepare other things
- Mix all the seasonings ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Preheat a large wok or skillet that has a lid over high heat.
- Separate the green onions into green and white part. Cut them into 3-inch pieces. Set aside
Cook the raw meat first:
- If you use leftover cooked meat, skip this step. When the wok/skillet is really hot. Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Swirl the wok/skillet to make sure it covers the sides of the wok/skillet. Add the pork slices and let them cook undisturbed for about 1 minute and then flip to the other side and let them cook for another minute. Cook until you no longer see pink color and the pork is cooked through. Dish out to a plate
Cook the veggies next:
- Scrape the bottom of the wok/skillet to remove anything that got stuck on the wok/skillet. Add another 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the garlic and the white part of green onion and stir fry for about 30 seconds
- Add the cabbage or whatever veggie you use and stir fry to mix everything. Stir fry for about 1 minute or until the veggies started to get a bit soft. You can splash with about 1 Tbsp of hot water to help soften the veggies
- Push everything to the sides of the wok/skillet. Crack 2 eggs on the middle of the wok/skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds and then scramble the yolks and continue to stir fry
- Add the short rice noodles followed by seasonings. Add the meat you cooked earlier. If you use leftover cooked meat instead, add them here too. Stir to make sure the sauce coats everything
- Add bean sprouts and green parts of the green onion. Turn off the heat and continue to stir fry to mix everything over residual heat. The bean sprouts are still crunchy but don't taste raw anymore.
- Serve immediately
Video (appear as pop-up)