Vietnamese Pork Sausage with Fungus (Gio Lua)

Yum
  • Preparation: 45 mins
  • Cooking: 90 mins
  • Skill level: Difficult
  • Servings: 6

Description Vietnamese Pork Sausage with Fungus (Giò Lụa)

Vietnamese Pork Sausage with Fungus (Gio Lua or Cha Lua) is another common item on the traditional Tet menu. As we mention, Tet is a time for families to come together and celebrate the new year with a fresh start. But it’s also a time to remember and honor the past. During Tet, cha lua is frequently used as an offering to relatives that have passed and placed before the ancestral alter in each home. And of course since it’s a filling for the traditional new year snack banh day (sticky rice cakes),  you can’t have a shortage of Giò Lụa/Chả Lụa around the house during Tet.
The rest of the year however, Vietnamese Pork Sausage with Fungus (Giò Lụa) is something that’s so ubiquitous in Vietnamese cuisine, that we often take it for granted.  Cha lua goes well with anything from banh mi, banh day (sticky rice cakes), banh cuon (steamed rice rolls), xoi gac (red sticky rice), and noodle soups such as bun thang, bun moc (pork and mushroom noodle soup), and bun bo hue.  Or it can simply be fried (cha chien) and dipped in a chili fish sauce and eaten with rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (500 g) boneless pork leg, skin and fat removed, cut into thin strips
  • 4 oz (100 g) pork fat, diced
  • 5 to 6 dried wood ear fungus, soaked in water until soft, sliced to yield about 1/2 cup
  • 2 sheets banana leaf (each 10 x 15 in/ 25 x 38 cm), soaked in hot water to soften, for wrapping
  • Marinade
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Method Vietnamese Pork Sausage with Fungus (Giò Lụa)

1, Combine the Marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Place the pork strips in the Marinade and mix until well coated. Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
2, Grind the pork fat to a paste in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3, Grind the pork with the Marinade and fungus to a smooth paste in the food processor. Combine both pork pastes and mix until well blended.
4, Place the 2 sheets of banana leaf on top of each other to form a double layer. Wet your hands and form the pork mixture into a compact roll. Place the pork roll in the middle of the banana leaf and wrap by folding one end of the banana leaf over the pork roll, then folding the sides and rolling up tightly to form a long package. Tie the package securely with string.
5, Place the package in a pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove and drain.
6, To serve, unwrap the sausage and cut into thin slices. The sausage can be kept refrigerated for up to a week.

Chef's Note

You may use aluminium foil in place of the banana leaf.


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