I just love making this sausage as a pre-dinner nibble because it always surprises people - it showcases all the classic Thai ingredients and gives them a hint of things to come in the main meal.
Nowadays, there are so many horribly thick man-made sausage casings that can taste like cardboard and ruin all your hard work. I think it's best if you find a local butcher who can sell you some natural casings. Or if not, they sell some great salted ones on Amazon that last for ages in the fridge.
First up, I always make the red curry paste.
My handmade red curry paste
Having said that, I know some of you are not as obsessive as myself and you can get away with using a commercial paste on this occasion. I would never say that for a curry, but there are so many flavours in this dish that although you would get a better result making the paste, it's not as crucial as it is in other dishes.
8 dried red chillies - deseeded and soaked until soft
A good pinch of coarse sea salt
2 stalks of lemongrass finely chopped
1 teaspoon of chopped line leaves
3 coriander roots
1 inch of galangal (use ginger if you can’t get it)
2 tablespoons sliced garlic
1tsp roasted and ground coriander seeds
1tsp roasted and ground cumin seeds
1tsp ground white pepper
2 teaspoons of shrimp paste - dry roasted
De-seed chop and soak the dried chillies until soft.
Drain and dry the chillies and put them in a pestle and mortar with the salt and pound until really fine.
Do not move on to the next ingredient until this is fully smooth, as you can't go back on this.
Next, add the lemongrass and pound until completely combined.
Taking each item and pounding it in fully before adding the next ingredient, continue making the paste in this order: lime leaves, coriander roots, galangal and garlic.
Next, stir in the dried spices and shrimp paste to finish the paste.
500g pork with about 20% fat. Spare rib is ideal for this.
2 stalks of lemongrass very finely chopped (otherwise it will taste woody and tear the sausage skin)
1 1/2 inch piece of galangal peeled and very finely chopped
4 shallots very finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh turmeric powder
4 tablespoons of cooked Thai jasmine rice
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of fine salt
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
5 coriander roots scraped and very finely chopped
Make the paste and set aside.
Mince the meat by hand with a chopper by repeatedly hitting it. It is really important to mince it finely by hand because the texture is much better. Add a pinch of salt as you do this.
Hand minced pork
Place in a bowl and mix in all the other ingredients well and then stuff them into the sausage casing and make up sausages that are about six inches long.
Juicy stuffed sausages
When the sausages are stuffed, deep fry them at a medium heat for about five minutes until a skewer inserted in them runs dry. Don't have the temperature too high or they will burst.
Keep pricking them gently as they are cooking to prevent them bursting.
Allow them to cool a little before slicing them diagonally and serving on a platter sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves and some small slices of ginger.
Are you celebrating National Sausage Week?