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Chả lụa is a Vietnamese food, also known as Vietnamese ham or Vietnamese sausage.

Traditionally, chả lụa is made of lean porkpotato starch, and nước mắm (fish sauce). The pork has to be pounded until it becomes pasty; it cannot be chopped or ground as the meat would still be fibrous, dry, and crumbly. Near the end of the pounding period a few spoonfuls of nước mắm are added to the meat for flavour, but salt, ground black pepper, and sugar can also be added. The meat is now called giò sống, meaning "raw sausage," and can be used in other dishes as well.

The mixture is then wrapped tightly in banana leaves into a cylindrical shape and boiled. If the banana leaf is not wrapped tightly and water leaks inside while it is being boiled, the sausage will be ruined. The sausage has to be submerged vertically into boiling water, and typically for a 1 kg sausage it takes an hour to cook. When making chả lụa by hand, a common way to tell if it is well cooked is to throw the sausage onto a hard surface; if it bounces, the sausage is good.[1]

The most well-known chả lụa comes from the village Ước Lễ, Thanh Oai, province Hà Tây, northern Vietnam, where people pride themselves as professional chả lụa makers. When cookingchả lụa, the villagers of Ước Lễ light a stick of incense with the length equal to the circumference of the sausage's cross section; they believe that when the incense has completely burned, the sausage is well cooked.[1]

Correctly-made chả lụa can be stored at room temperature for about one week.

During the initial wave of Vietnamese immigrants to the United States in the mid-1970s, banana leaves were difficult to find and, thus, Vietnamese chefs substituted aluminum foil for banana leaves, a habit that continues today.

The sausage is normally sliced and eaten with bánh cuốnbánh mì, or xôi, or braised in fish sauce and black pepper with other meat dishes. If fried, it is called chả chiên. 
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review by . November 30, 2009
posted in The Rice Table
The French Connection
Yes, it's baguettes from the French & with the Vietnamese twist of the pate, cha lua, you've got yourself a most delicious lunch! For those who are not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, you've probably no idea that even the Vietnamese has their own version of sausages. Banh Mi is the sandwich concerned and you must experience it for yourself to attest how delicious they are!                  Traditionally, cha lua is made …
Quick Tip by . May 04, 2010
posted in The Rice Table
The only meat that I would eat as a child, so I would suggest this for picky children ;) Still love it!
Quick Tip by . November 29, 2009
Great on its own as snacks, party food or in toasted bread & sandwiches. If u haven't tried it, u've no idea what u are missing!
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