Vietnamese Caul Fat Wrapped Sausages
Vietnamese Caul Fat Wrapped Sausages
(Bò Nướng Mỡ Chài)
Makes about 30 to 35 bite-sized sausages
2-3 pounds of fresh grind (try it with elk, caribou, bison, moose, and goose)
1 pound of course grind pig fat or pork belly
1 half a medium shallot
3 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
2 stalks minced green onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons 5 spice powder
2 teaspoons fresh grind black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon msg (or use more salt)
1 tablespoon of Lee Kum Kee Chicken Bouillon powder
2 pounds of caul fat (I used pig but any game works)
3 tablespoons of toasted and crushed peanuts
3 tablespoons of fried shallots
4 tablespoons of green onion oil
Nuoc Cham (Dipping sauce)
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup of warm water
4 teaspoons of unseasoned rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
6 tablespoons of fish sauce (preferred brand is red boat)
6 tablespoons of sugar
2 large clove of minced garlic
1 Thai chilli minced (deseeded for less spice)
1/4 cup of matchstick-cut carrots (use a mandolin)
How to make sausages
In a large bowl mix, all other ingredients listed under the Bò Nướng Mỡ Chài. I add MSG because it makes it taste a million times better, but you can omit it completely and just use more salt.
Roll sausages to be roughly the length of your thumb then wrap each sausage in caul fat. The method I use is I leave the sheet of caul fat whole, place my sausage on the caul fat, roll it until the sausage is nicely coated in a layer of fat, cut that rolled sausage from the main sheet, and fold in the ends. The caul fat should stay in place, once you let them rest on a plate as you continue to roll the rest of your meat mixture. You can be more strategic and pre-cut the caul fat into wonton wrapper size pieces. No matter how you attempt this, remember to roll it generously in the caul fat because the pieces will unravel when frying.
How to cook the sausages
Fry in a non-flavoured oil, canola, sunflower or peanut oil works best. A cast iron pan works great for this. Make sure there’s enough oil to emerge the sausage for an even layer. I find this method keeps the sausage juicy but you can also use a coal BBQ for that smokey flavour!
The important thing is to not overcook them or they can get grainy and tough. Be mindful of the fact they will continue to cook as they sit and cool down. Take them out as soon as they start to brown and let them rest for that juicy and fatty bite.
Top sausages with green onion oil, toasted peanuts, and fried shallots before serving for that extra crunch. There are no true measurements, just add to your preference in taste. To save time you can buy toasted peanuts and fried shallots at most Asian markets.
To make green onion oil, simply chop up green onion, add them to hot neutral oil, and a pinch of salt. Take it off the heat right away. Brush it on the sausages to give them a juicy, glisten and extra flavour. Use oil the generously. The bright green onion also adds a nice pop of colour to the dish.
How to make the dipping sauce
Combine all ingredients listed under Nuoc Cham, taste and add more sugar or fish sauce to your liking. Add thinly sliced carrots to add some more variety of colour and texture to the dish.
How to eat
Traditionally a drinking food, the salty and fatty sausages wash down well with a crisp pale ale or pilsner.
For a more complete meal, serve it build your own lettuce wrap style with butter lettuce, pickled carrots, fresh cucumber, mint, cilantro with the dipping sauce. Another option is to wrap it in rice paper or place them on a bed of rice noodles with all the ingredients listed above.
Don't forget to be generous with the dipping sauce!
Read my not so smooth start trying to create this dish for the 4th Annual Field to Table Dinner, here.
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @chasingfoodclub or email <firstname.lastname@example.org> your pictures so I can admire your handy work in the kitchen.