Vietnamese Classic Silky Sausage (Gio Lua) is the most widely eaten of all the Vietnamese charcuterie. A kind of Vietnamese mortadella, the smooth, light-colored sausage is sliced and tucked into baguette sandwiches, eaten with regular or sticky rice, or presented as part of a charcuterie assortment with pickled vegetables. Cut into matchsticks, it is used as a garnish for bún thang, a popular Hanoi noodle soup.
Although giò lụa is stocked in the refrigerated food aisle of nearly every Vietnamese deli and market, I make mine at home. It’s easy. All you need is some meat paste, which may be freshly made or thawed, a piece of banana leaf, and some foil. You shape the paste into a log, wrap it in the foil and then in the leaf, and then boil it. The finished sausage will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, but it is at its best soon after cooking, when the flavor of the banana leaf still lingers on the meat.