NEM CHUA – Vietnamese Cured Pork Sausage
If you’re a fan of fermented food or want to try something new then you’ll want to dig into one of the weirdest sausages in the world: Vietnamese Nem Chua.
Balancing flavors is very important in Vietnamese culinary culture, and Nem Chua is no exception. From the first bite, your taste buds experience a roller coaster of flavors, the umami from the fermenting process, then sour, to sweet and salty, and finally garlic and chillies that give you a spicy twist.
Using natural ingredients like banana leaf and rice powder for fermentation, Nem Chua’s fermentation process takes at least 24 hours, but ideally should be fermented for around 3-5 days. During this process, probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus (like in yogurt) develop and give the Nem Chua it’s sour flavor. The longer you ferment Nem Chua, the more you’ll taste the sour flavor.
Nem Chua is usually served as a bar snack, as an appetizer or a side dish for casual dining. During Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Nem Chua is also served to help with food digestion.
- 1kg pork, sliced
- 200g pork skin, sliced
- 100g rice powder (dry roast uncooked rice and ground to a powder)
- 20 sheets (8×8 inch) *banana leaf
- 2 cloves garlics, sliced
- To taste *Red chili, sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Grind sliced pork in mixer within 1-2 minutes and set aside
- Clean and boil pork skin. Put boiled pork skin in cold water before slicing into pieces
- Mixing sliced pork skin and grinded pork together. Add in minced garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper, chilli, fish sauce and rice powder. Use your hands to mix them together.
- Divide the pork paste, pork skin into small servings 5-7cm long. Use banana leaves or plastic wrap and rubber bands to wrap them up.
- Leave the wrapped Nem Chua in the fridge for 2-5 days for the fermentation process.
- Unwrap and serve with beers. It is highly recommended that you eat Nem Chua with chilli sauce.
*Banana leaf can be replaced by plastic wrap
*Suitable for your spice endurance
Tutorial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ8MPYXHqAk