Chiang Mai Pork Sausage

This cooked sausage, called sai-ooa, is one of the foods that Thais associate strongly with Chiang Mai. You can purchase it fresh at most markets, and you'll see coils of it grilling on barbecues at stalls all around town.


Chiang Mai sausage meatballs

Since most people don't have sausage making equipment in their home, I've adapted the recipe to make meatballs instead. These work very well as an hors d'oeuvre with cocktails or as one of the many 'finger foods' forming a kahn toke style dinner. Sai-ooa is one of many popular 'drinking foods' that Thais enjoy with beer.

The sausage is traditionally made with pork, but it can also be found made with chicken. I've tried a vegetarian version, once.


Ground pork500 g / 1 lb
Kaffir lime leaves5Shredded
Dark soy sauce1 Tbl
Light soy sauce1 Tbl

Curry Paste

Powdered dried chili1 tsp
Garlic1 whole bulb
Shallots3 bulbsChopped
Lemongrass3 stalksChopped
Kaffir lime skin1 TblShredded

Preparation Method

  • Make the curry paste by pounding all the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle to form a thick paste. Of course, you can do it the “easy way” and use a food processor.
  • Mix the ground pork with the soy sauces and prepared curry paste. Sprinkle the shredded kaffir lime leaves over the mixture, pour in the water and mix thoroughly.
  • Form the meat into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Arrange on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
  • Bake in a pre-heated 220°C oven for about 25 minutes.

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