Sai Ua (ไส้อั่ว)

Pork Sausages

Sausages in Thailand are normally cased in a pork intestine skin.  However, it’s not much fun going to the market at 4 a.m. to buy the intestines, then spending an hour or two washing them clean.  (The smell is not good – trust me, I’ve done it!)  Anyway, these skinless sausages, more like a minced pork patty really, are fragrant with lemon grass and coriander root and studded with spicy flecks of red chilli.


Coriander roots, lemon grass, garlic and white pepper

3 coriander roots, washed and scraped to remove any dirt
1 lemon grass stalk, chopped, outer leaves removed. White part only.
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 t white pepper powder
1 small red chilli, chopped
2 t fish sauce
2 t sugar
300 g minced pork

  1. Put the coriander root , lemon grass, garlic and pepper in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste using a mortar.  (Alternatively, one could use a small food processor.)
  2. Add the chopped chilli, fish sauce, sugar and pork and mix well.  Kneading for 5-10 minutes will improve the texture of the finished sausage.
  3. Cook on a barbecue, grill or griddle pan for 4-5 minutes each side until cooked through.  Use a medium-low heat so the sausage doesn’t burn on the outside whilst the inside is still pink.
  1. Traditionally such sausages would be served with raw cabbage which was used as a wrap, with cubes of fresh ginger, slices of chilli and garlic and cubes of a sour fruit such as star fruit.  However, I like them in a sandwich with a bit of salad.  Definitely not traditional.
  2. Thai sausage sandwich

  3. Many similar sausages in Thailand are fermented for a few days before they’re cooked.  This give a sour taste.  However, I’d prefer not to experience the after effects of a bad sausage.  (One of the worst bouts of food poisoning I’ve ever experienced was after eating such a sausage in Bangkok.  It was the day before I was due to fly back home.  I spend the following day, after check-out, sitting in the hotel lobby so I wouldn’t be more than a few seconds away from a toilet.  A not-to-be-repeated – and not-to-be-forgotten – experience.)
  4. Serves 2 as a hearty snack.

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