Northern Thai Sausage, 'Sai Oua'

Chili BowlBuy ingredients for this recipe!

Northern Thai sausage is easy to make, and the mix of ingredients leads to a spectacular result. We would encourage you to make this with ground pork or, for any hunters reading, try this with local elk, deer, wild boar, or other natural meat that you might have. Also watch our online video below showing how it's made.

You can't go wrong with this sausage. Please be sure to leave us a comment using the form below if you make it, and share how it turned out.

We also have a recipe for Esan-style Thai sausage, sai grok.


3/4 cup ground pork
1 cup pork belly fat, cut into small dice
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely-chopped fresh lemongrass
2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh galangal
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons thin soy sauce
Sausage casing


In a mortar and pestle, pound together lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal until fine.

In a large mixing bowl, add pork and the rest of the ingredients, mix well. Mix by hand a glove. Do not knead, make sure the pork fat stays in shape.

Tie one end of the pork casing with string then use a funnel (see pictures and video below) to force the mixture into the casing. Prevent air bubbles from forming, and do not over-stuff it. Tie the other end. Now your sausage is ready to cook.

For best results, use a bamboo skewer to poke holes in the casing. Poke it before and during the cooking process, this will make sure that the sausage doesn't break while cooking. Grill on low heat, keeping watch. Flip and poke until golden brown, dry and aromatic (about 25 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the sausage).

Thai Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce

Mae Pranom is the true original brand known to all Thai people and offered in corner stores & sidewalk chefs throughout the country. A perfect sauce to dip your Sai Oua.

Mae Pranom dipping sauce is more robust and has slightly higher chile heat than Mae Ploy brand (Mae Ploy brand is more familiar outside of Thailand due to marketing).

Most commonly used as a delicious as a dipping sauce for any kind of fried chicken or barbeque chicken, but also goes well with shrimp, fish cake, spring roll, etc.

We love this sauce and highly recommend it.

Packed in a beautiful glass bottle with attractive label, Mae Pranom is a very large producer employing the highest quality standard.

You might also like our:
Mae Pranom brand Pineapple Chilli Sauce
Mae Pranom brand Som Tum Sauce

Ingredients: sugar 40%, red chile 20%, garlic 20%, vinegar 15%, salt 5%. No additives. Product of Thailand.

Street Vendor Video: How to make a sweet chile dipping sauce

Thai Street Vendor Video

All of our videos can be found in our Thai Street Vendor Videos section.

Share your photos
Share photos of this recipe from your own kitchen or a restaurant table, and earn rewards!
Details and quick sign up here.
Upload Photo

Email This Recipe

Send this recipe to yourself or a friend.

Email address: send


June 16th, 2009
5:14 AM
Can you used this to make sausage patties insteak of links?
June 16th, 2009
5:41 AM
How are you? I got up early working on my MKT again. :) Here is very yummy yummy.
John Buzolich
June 17th, 2009
12:07 AM
My wife and I were just in northern Thailand, in Chiang Mai, during April 2009. It was our first trip to Thailand and we loved eating food from the street vendors at the night market. Some of these northern style sausages were fantastic. They would often cook them in small balls, about the size of a golf ball, but all linked together in the same sausage casing. The vendor would have them all on the grill, and then clip off the number of pieces you wanted based on what you paid. They were fantastic! I can't wait to try this recipe
Ken Hill
June 29th, 2009
7:40 AM
I've made this sausage twice now and it's yummy! As with any unusual recipe it was far better the second time. Make sure you dice and mash the lime leaves and lemongrass mixture really well. I had to use salt pork instead of belly fat but thought it was fine (& not salty). Although I usually like to cook meats over charcoal, I've found sausage cooks better on the upper rack of a gas grill. There is so much fat released during cooking that flare ups become a problem over charcoal. Thanks for your awesome website and recipes!
Tom DeRisi
July 16th, 2009
1:19 PM
I made this for the first time on the 4th of July weekend. I used the sausage stuffer attachment on my KitchenAid stand mixer. I really worked well. I started with about 2.7 lbs of fresh ground pork and increased the other ingredients by guessing. I didn't want to make it too salty so I just added a little more of the thin soy, but I did add an extra tablespoon and a half of the red curry paste etc. I did take to heart Ken Hills comment about really dicing the lemongrass and galanga and leaves as finely as I could. (I have had Sai Oua in Thailand and it was like eating sausage with tan bark in it and I didn't want that) I then pounded the mixture in the mortar extremely well. I was very pleased that there were no hard chunks in the sausage. My local butcher only had pork back fat which was just fine. I am american and my wife is Thai and we have a great friend from Berlin who is a close to a sausage expert as we can find. He thought that the cubes of fat should have been ground into the meat more then they were but loved the flavor. My wife's aunt owns a few Thai restaurants in the SF Bay Area thought it could have had more lemongrass and kaffir leaf. I loved it. Give it a try and you will be very pleased with the results. It is also a great way to score points with your Thai in-laws. Those of you americans with Thai wives will know what I mean.
July 17th, 2009
9:41 AM
Interesting, would love to taste this one someday. I'm lucky though - a local (Ohio) Thai restaurant serves "E-San" sausage. Wonderful. The serve it with some strips of raw cabbage, couple slices of fresh ginger, and basil & cilantro, as well as some chili sauce on the side. I like to order it with a side of sticky rice. Makes a whole meal.
October 14th, 2009
5:00 PM
I couldn't get any sausage casing, i put them on skewers like you would make kebabs end jused a grill pan. Turned out great.
Barbara Fernandes
January 31st, 2010
3:16 PM
How do you call that ingredient in the blue bowl for making Thai sausage
October 25th, 2010
7:58 AM
Just tried this from my kitchen in Chiang Mai, as good as anything I would buy from the local market. The secret is the curry paste which has to be an authentic Thai paste.
Tom DeRisi
February 7th, 2011
6:05 PM
This is to answer Barbara Fernandes' question. In the blue bowl is the crushed lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal. (In a mortar and pestle, pound together lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal until fine)
October 6th, 2011
2:24 PM
Don't you ferment the sausage after making it? The Thai sausages I've eaten were made a little sour, by hanging it overnight at room temperature. The end result is much flavor.
December 20th, 2011
12:03 AM
Here's that recipe for Chiang Mai sausage :o)
March 5th, 2012
5:01 PM
Warren is right - they should be hung for at least 24 hours to ferment and gain some sourness. We eat as recommended, but I always have a raw, fresh cilli to nibble on as well ...
June 13th, 2012
9:56 AM
I'm always looking for new sausage recipes, so thanks for this. My only comment is that I wish the recipe used weight (like grammes). It is much more accurate (and used in Thailand)
Marty S
August 12th, 2012
5:29 PM
I made patties since I didn't want to mess with a casing. I substituted diced bacon for the belly fat. It turned out wonderful. I don't have a large mortar, so I ran the lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaves through my food processor. So what do I serve this with? Just by itself?
October 14th, 2012
12:10 PM
Hi I am from northern Thailand. Northern Thai sausage is not fermented. Only north eastern (e-San) do. Most northern Thai sausage get deep fried, but grill is as good. Add some chopped liver if you like, that is actually the original tradition.
Ed Thompson
September 4th, 2013
9:48 AM
My name is Ed Thompson. I recently used your recipe for Sai Oua and made 20 lbs of this wonderful sausage. The taste is wonderful and it reminds me of the Northern Thai sausage that I enjoy so much when I am in Thailand. Many of my friends have tasted and enjoyed my sausage as well. Thank you for the great recipe.
March 18th, 2014
3:30 AM
Many of my friends have tasted and enjoyed my sausage!

I like thar ED.
May 17th, 2014
4:04 PM
I just made that sausage for tomorrow. I tasted a little and it is fantastic !
I did it with 1.2kg of pork, a nice fatty cut, and no added pork fat.
I tripled the quantities of the other ingredients, except for the lemongrass.
I used a little less lemongrass than suggested, and bought it frozen from my local Chinese supermarket. I grated it and finely chopped it afterwards.
I found the kaffir lime leaves frozen too, at the same supermarket. Excellent.
A very surprisingly authentic Thai taste, that takes you right back there after the first bite !
Thanks for sharing, i love it !
Martin Smith
December 14th, 2014
2:21 PM
The recipe for Sai Oua how much will it yield how much sausage casing is required.
Martin Smith
December 30th, 2014
6:08 PM
I made the sai oua and I found it lacking in flavor not the same as I got from
the street venders in my soi in Bangkok It tasted same but not as flavorful.
April 19th, 2015
9:34 AM
Can i use chicken or beef instead of pork.
April 19th, 2015
2:19 PM
I want to make this sausages coming weekend. Can you explain me hoe to make sausages of only 3/4 cup of meat and 1 cup of belly fat?? Or do you mean 3/4 kilo pork meat and 1 cup belly fat?
I ve ordered pork intestines at the butcher. Kafir tree at home!
Please let me know :-)
Sunny greetings from Andalucia, Spain
October 9th, 2015
3:45 PM
I do not have access to sausage casing. Can I make "meatballs" with the sausage, skewer them on bamboo skewers, grill them and serve as an appetizer? Also want to try this with Sai Grok.
February 29th, 2016
10:38 AM
The street vendors sausages in chiang mai that i have tasted the last 10 years have cooked sticky rice in the mixture,trully a mouth watering meal along with cabbage &chilli .

Add a Comment

Name (optional)
Email (optional)
post comment

Related Recipes

Thai Pork Satay, 'Moo Satay' Thai Pork Satay, 'Moo Satay' Thai Congee, Rice Porridge, Pork Thai Congee, Rice Porridge, Pork Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs in Lettuce Cups Dressed-up Son in Law Eggs, 'Khai Look Koei Song Krueng' Dressed-up Son in Law Eggs, 'Khai Look Koei Song Krueng'

Essential Thai Pantry

Essential Thai Pantry

Essential Thai Pantry

See the ingredients and cookware that every Thai kitchen should have.

Find Another Thai Recipe

Search By: Name | IngredientsNeed more help? Check out our Thai Recipe Helper

Start typing the name of the recipe you are interested in.

Join the Thai Cooking Community in Seconds!
Create an account, upload your own photos of Thai food, and get rewards ($25 gift cards, etc.)!
Remember me?

Or Become a Member
  • Upload photos from your own kitchen or local Thai restaurant.
  • Share and learn the art of Thai cooking with others.
  • Accumulate points for every photo uploaded.
  • Use your points to get free products and discounts at
  • Sign up now and receive 25 free points.
sign up