Making Fermented Thai Pork Sausage (แหนมหมู ; naem moo)

Click to listen to the Thai name pronunciation Listen to the Thai name pronunciation
By: Hanuman

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Search the luggage of a Thai person traveling abroad, and it’s highly likely that you’ll discover various items of food. Rolled in a newspaper or a piece of cloth, hidden deep in their bags, few Thai students will venture forth without a jar of their favorite roasted chili jam, while Thai housewives are often accompanied by their preferred brand of fermented shrimp paste. Both are probably carrying a couple of fermented Thai sausages as well.

You see, the intense and defined flavors of Thai cuisine – harmonically coming together to create a rich whole – are simply irreplaceable. Thai people will not survive happily without their beloved Thai food.

Naem is a fermented sausage made with pork, pork skins, cooked sticky rice (glutinous), fresh garlic, salt, sugar and bird’s eye chilies. The sausage is wrapped in banana leaves or synthetic casings, and fermented for 3-5 days at about 30 degrees (C) and 50% humidity. The fermentation process enables the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, mostly lactobacilli, which accounts for the sourness of the sausage. The salt acts as an inhibitor – preventing the meat from going rotten, allowing the lactic acid bacteria and yeasts to feed on the rice and sugar, and fermenting the meat to perfection.

Naem is usually eaten with sliced ginger, chopped shallots, peanuts, bird’s eye chilies and spring onions. The fresh shallots give the dish a sweet heat that harmonizes well with the sourness of the naem.

img_1920Naem is also used in many recipes. Some of the more well-known include fried rice with naem, and naem fried with eggs.

Whether enjoyed on their own, or used in cooking, Thai sausages are packed with flavors!

So, for you – Thai people living abroad – and also for you – the lover of Thai food – I present this step- by-step tutorial on how to prepare a homemade fermented Thai sausage.

Making Fermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe (แหนมหมู ; naem moo)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Ready In
 
Naem is a fermented sausage made with pork, pork skins, cooked sticky rice (glutinous), fresh garlic, salt, sugar and bird’s eye chilies. The sausage is wrapped in banana leaves or synthetic casings, and fermented for 3-5 days at about 30 degrees (C) and 50% humidity. The fermentation process enables the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, mostly lactobacilli, which accounts for the sourness of the sausage. The salt acts as an inhibitor - preventing the meat from going rotten, allowing the lactic acid bacteria and yeasts to feed on the rice and sugar, and fermenting the meat to perfection.
By:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 15

Ingredients

 
  • 1kg pork meat (lean), minced
  • 350gr pork skin
  • 25 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
  • 1 cup cooked sticky rice (glutinous rice)
  • 40 bird’s eye chilies
Method
  1. Trim and discard the fat from the pork, leaving only lean red meat.
  2. Mince the pork meat. I use an old-fashioned heavy duty manual meat grinder to do the job, and rarely rely on the butcher for help.
    Fermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe
  3. Clean the pork skin by rubbing it vigorously with rough sea salt and white vinegar. Wash with running water. Repeat as necessary until the skin is clean and smooth.
    Fermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe
  4. Cook the skin in boiling water until the skin become transparent and breaks easily when pinched. This can take up to 40 minutes.
    Fermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe
  5. Shred the skin into thin strips of approximately 2 mm wide and 4 cm long.
  6. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients: the pork meat, skin, garlic, rice, salt, sugar and MSG. Work everything with your hands until the mixture is well and evenly mixed.
    Fermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe
  7. Depending on the size of the sausage you are making, arrange the pork mixture on one corner of a 20 x 20 cm banana leaf. Top with bird’s eye chilies, and roll as shown in the photo. If you do not have access to banana leaves, you may use plastic wraps to encase the sausage.
    Fermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage RecipeFermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe
  8. Allow to ferment for 3 to 5 days at about 30 degrees C and 50% humidity.
    Fermented Thai Pork Sausage Recipe
32 comments… add one
  • pim enya Feb 25, 2010, 8:46 pm

    วิธีการทำดูสะอาดสอ้าน แล้วก็อนามัยดี ทำให้ดูน่ากินมากเลยค่ะ

    เห็นแล้ว พาลให้นึกไปถึงข้าวผัดแหนม แหนมผัดไข่ ไข่เจียวแหนม หลนแหลม … น่ากินทั้งนั้นเลยค่ะ

    • Hanuman Feb 25, 2010, 9:08 pm

      ขอบคุณ k. pim!

  • witchy Apr 22, 2010, 6:29 pm

    น่ากินมากๆๆเลยนะคะ
    เห็นแล้วน้ำลายไหล
    คิดถึง แหนมทอด ร้อนๆๆ เปรี้ยวๆๆ กินกับผักสด และข้าวสวยร้อนๆ

  • shinlay Jul 1, 2010, 9:03 pm

    I found out your site from my friend… It is really nice one.
    I will try this Sausage Recipe soon.

  • Shinlay Jul 9, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I did it. It was successful, I think. Thanks again.

    • Hanuman Jul 9, 2010, 9:02 pm

      Great!! Thanks for letting me know!

  • Dorrie Jul 12, 2010, 1:37 am

    Great! And now, I would like to make yam naem :) which I ate at the so called Thai park in Berlin, Germany, never in Thailand – so far.

    Would you post your recipe for this dish? Would be nice!

    Cheers, Dorrie

    • Hanuman Jul 12, 2010, 9:46 am

      Sure Dorrie, I would be happy to. Its one of my favorites too….. stay tuned…

  • Pavalin Apr 11, 2011, 9:41 pm

    บอกเพื่อนเวียดนามในออฟฟิศว่าเคยกินไหมแหนม มันบอกว้าวชอบๆๆๆ ทำเป็นไหม
    มองสูตรคุณหนุมานแปปนึง นั่งคิดไม่ยากนี่เนอะ ตอบเค้าไป ได้ ๆ แต่เราไม่มีข้าวเหนียว
    มันบอกมีๆๆบ้านมันมี เด่วให้แต่ทำให้กินด้วย
    เราก้อบอกแต่เราไม่รู้ซื้อหนังหมูภาษาโปรตุกีสพูดไง มันบอกเด่วมันซื้อให้
    บอกแต่เราไม่มีใบตอง มันบอก ไม่ต้องห่วงเด่วมันจัดให้หมด
    แต่ทำให้มันกินด้วย 555 เสร็จโจร

  • Pitsamai Thanomjit Jul 19, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I will have to try to make this. Thank you so much for your affords and the knowledge you share here with us. I am really a big fan of yours. We plan to make Lod-Chong when my boyfriend is here.

    Khop khun mag kha,

    pitsamai.

  • Paige Aug 21, 2011, 8:24 am

    Did you buy the meat grinder in Thailand or abroad? I would like to grind my own meat as well and we live in Thailand. Thanks for the recipe

    • Hanuman Aug 28, 2011, 11:13 am

      Sorry for the late reply Paige, The meat grinder is available from most kitchen utensils shops, also, check out the food equipment stores near sapan lek wang burapa around chainatown / bangkok

  • mam Oct 14, 2011, 11:19 am

    น่าอายจัง เราเป็นคนไทยแท้ๆๆแต่ยังทำไม่เอียดเท่าคุณหนุมานเลย

  • Joy Jul 21, 2012, 4:24 am

    I used regular salt insted of sea salt. Does it make a difference? Also, it doesn’t have that pinkish color. Why is that? The nam powder I used before has a small packet of red salt and it males the nam pinkish red.Where can I buy red salt?

    Thanks,

    Joy

    • Hanuman Jul 21, 2012, 8:27 am

      Any salt will do Jay. Actually in the northern east part of Thailand (Isaarn) they use mined underground salt. So no worries about that. As for the red color, homemade naam is not as red as the commercial product because you don’t add coloring agent like the factories do. its only a matter of food color.

  • asa Aug 28, 2012, 6:29 am

    Hi, when do you know when the meat has fermented enough to eat? Thanks! I’m excited to try this recipe!

    • Hanuman Sep 5, 2012, 10:37 pm

      asa, after 3 days its starts to taste sour, providing it was kept in the right temperature, than it turns sour, and ready. let it sit longer and it become more sour, a matter of taste.

  • Jun Dec 24, 2012, 3:08 am

    Thank you for putting this together. What a great idea! I was searching for a simple recipe for naem and found much more on your site. The recipe with photos makes replication much easier.

  • Tim Gambrell May 18, 2014, 1:52 am

    I’m very excited to find your blog and will try to make this recipe next week but in UK it won’t be 30°c and dry, do I need to leave them in the airing cupboard. Tim

  • Gary Sibley May 23, 2014, 9:46 pm

    Hi, I get the ingredients and temperature, but how do you get the humidity correct? I live in a condo and want to try and make this in the USA when I open “Mai Tai Cafe” (My Thai Cafe)

    Regards

    Gary

  • MarkP Oct 17, 2014, 2:02 am

    Is there a difference in the curing process whether you use plastic wrap or banana leaves? Is one better?

    • Hanuman Oct 17, 2014, 2:38 pm

      All commercial product is done in plastic wraps. some restaurants will use trays and line it with either plastic wrap or banana leaf, to create a square block of neam. Villagers will use banana leaves. Use whatever material you have available, there is no difference in taste or quality

  • Neil Nov 14, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Hi,
    I’m going to have a crack at this from the UK. Garlic cloves here are much bigger than Thai garlic cloves. Does the 25 cloves in the recipe assume Thai garlic? i.e. should I reduce the amount of cloves that I use.
    Thanks, Neil

    • Hanuman Nov 26, 2014, 8:51 am

      in this neam recipe i am using “regular” large garlic cloves

  • Tony Nov 28, 2014, 7:29 am

    This article makes no mention of the numbers of Thai people who get food poisoning from this and many other “Thai delicacies”. It is one of the main reasons for admission to the hospital I work in. Please make sure that people understand they must be careful what they are doing.

  • Charlie Sommers Oct 2, 2015, 5:02 am

    Many years ago I worked in a custom slaughterhouse in Tennessee where an elderly Lao man (Mr. Bingey – probably spelled wrong) would occasionally drop by for parts of the animals that are usually thrown away in America. He made the best tripe soup I ever ate but his fermented pork sausages were absolutely awesome. Rather than just using pork skin he preferred using thinly sliced pieces of ear and since you never knew which bite would contain the small but very hot chili we called his offering “pig ear surprises.” I never drink a beer in the summer without thinking how pleasant it would be to have a “pig ear surprise” to accompany it. I was saddened when Mr Bingey moved away but his delicious food has not been forgotten.

    • Hanuman Oct 2, 2015, 10:24 am

      Hi Charlie, pig ears are a great treat, the cartilage is soft and crunchy and would definitely give a great texture to naem.

  • JK Dec 5, 2016, 6:32 pm

    Hi, thanks for the recipe, it looks delicious. I am allergic to MSG, will it be a problem if I leave it out or is it necessary to the fermentation process? Thanks so much!

    • Hanuman Dec 5, 2016, 6:41 pm

      you can leave it out, it has no effect on the fermentation process

  • JK Dec 6, 2016, 5:24 am

    Thanks so much!

  • Dylan Jan 16, 2017, 5:08 am

    Hi, I was wondering if the sticky rice is necessary for the fermentation process?
    Thanks for any help!

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