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Cha lua

Vietnamese Sausages

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The French Connection

  • Nov 30, 2009
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 of lean pork, Nuoc mam (fish sauce) and potato starch. Here's a recipe of how to make cha lua, should you be interested or adventurous enough. I'm not into cooking and hence prefer to simply buy them from Vietnamese stores or restaurants. For less than $5, you get a huge chunk of it wrapped in banana leaves and can last for a couple of days if you're not too greedy like me! If I munched on it, I'll probably finish it in 2 days! But no worry, you can buy a couple and stock them up in the fridge as it can last for quite awhile. I find it not only great on its own, in baguettes, in sandwiches but also on noodles! Such a versatile finger food!

Cha lua may also come in a variety of seasoning & filling. The store I bought them from has 4 different version. Other than the traditional, one has black pepper in them. Another is one which has pork skin in it (looks like jelly & crunchy), this one is my favorite. I could just eat them as finger food and have no clue how much calories I'm putting in! But I'm sure they are not as highly caloried as potato chips ;-) So, ENJOY ...

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December 01, 2009
I am totally hooked on these sandwiches! It's actually only $ 3.75 where I get them near C-town and the original one I go to only charges $ 2.95. Thanks for this, Sharrie...I know what I am getting for lunch today.
November 30, 2009
omg Sharrie, I love cha.  I always thought that this stuff was made of chicken though... oops!  My mom always kept sliced cha in the fridge when I was a kid.  I didn't like the texture of other meats, so this is how she would get meat into my diet.  A bahn mi just wouldn't be a bahn mi without cha ;P
November 30, 2009
I believe there's one that's made of chicken as well. That's probably what you've had as a kid. You don't like meat? Wow, that's pretty surprising for me!
More Cha lua reviews
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!
About the reviewer
Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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About this food


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 ...

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