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Thai Esan-Style Sausage, 'Sai Grok'

Thai Esan-Style Sausage, 'Sai Grok'

Bring this unique, fragrant, Thai-style sausage to your next barbeque party, and rest assured nobody will have the same thing. We used high quality ground pork from a local butcher who used pork shoulder, and we recommend that but it's not necessary.

This is a rich, tasty meal in itself because of the mix of meat and rice, and one you can find all over Thailand especially in the Northeast (Isaan) area.

See pictures of a Bangkok street vendor offering the same sausage.

We also have a recipe for Chiang Mai (northern) style Thai sausage, Sai Oua.


For 4 Person(s)


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Method for Thai Esan-Style Sausage, 'Sai Grok'

Put the pork and all other ingredients in a food processor and thoroughly mix. With clean hands, separate the meat into 3 or 4 sections, and wrap each section carefully and tightly with plastic wrap. Follow that with some tin foil for added protection. Set the sausage out at room temperature (not in the fridge) for 1-2 days. Remove from plastic wrap and foil.

Barbeque the sausage over medium/low heat for about 20 minutes or longer. Note the fragrant aroma, and make sure it's well-cooked. You can fry in oil if barbeque is not available.

Serve with fresh chile peppers, garlic, pickled ginger, spring onion, cilantro, leaf lettuce, cabbage and other greens you may like.


Overall Rating (12)

4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    I agree with Pompiere. I think I will try it but leave it in the fridge for an extra day.

  • Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    I was wondering about that as well. I'd love to try it but I'd like to hear your thoughts on safety.

  • James Hawk III

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    The garlic and salt have (together) both antibiotic and anti-fungal properties. If you allow the sausage to stay over 147F (~64C) at the center for several minutes while cooking, you will compromise any bacterial agents that might take root in the pork. Because it spends the time tightly wrapped in plastic, there won't be any intrusion from air-borne bacteria during the resting. (I assume it rests to allow some fermentation to take place; I can't think of anything else that would be inhibited by refrigeration.) If everything involved in the preparation (including your hands) is clean, you stand a very good chance of a positive outcome. That's what I know. (Of course, I don't speak officially for, nor am I anything more than an ordinary home cook with some knowledge of food safety practices.) Everything I've written is informational only, and should not be construed as a warranty of safety.

  • Malee

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    What a coincidence. We just had these today, on a stick from a vendor at Nong Nooch in Pattaya. Delicious!

  • L.Gun Bu

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    Very good

  • Marcia and Dave

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    So glad to find this recipe! Have bought, cooked, and eaten Thai sausage in Nan Province, Thailand and loved it. WE LIVED IN NAN for about 6 months and shopped at the morning market. It was a wonderful adventure. Wanted to make the sausage we bought there. Thank you.

  • Carl

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    I have never made it, also because of my concerns about leaving meat out at room temperature for extended times. But the WHOLE POINT of leaving it out is for fermentation to take place and produce the so very typical tart/sour taste. If kept in the refrigerator, fermentation most likely won't take place and the sour taste will be missing. The sausage may taste good, but it won't taste right.

  • Malee

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    If you are still ultimately concerned with the safety issues, then I would suggest avoiding any fermented meats of any kind (including salami). Me, I haven't had or known any other Thais that have had issues with food poisoning or dysentery as a result of eating cooked sai grok. I have often enough eaten uncooked naem sausage, right out of the refrigerator... Still, much like with sushi and raw shellfish, don't feed this to infants, the infirm, or the immune-compromised.

  • Stefan Girgenrath

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    I was wondering about the fermentation issue, too. It seems that the addition of "pickled garlic" is the key for the authentic recipe. Originally, pickled vegetables were made by natural lacto-fermentation and the residual bacteria on the pickled garlic here would start to ferment the rice added in the recipe (that's why it is at room temperatur). This process would naturally inhibit growth of any "bad" bacteria potentially present on the ground pork. However, the "pickled" garlic used in this recipe here is preserved in acetic acid (vinegar) and have no lactofermenting bacteria on them left. Maybe this could work because the "good" bacteria are coming from the fresh garlic? Does anybody having been to SE Asia know what kind of pickled garlic the street vendor uses? Has anybody followed this recipe above without getting sick?

  • Pghdragonman

    Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    I'm also wondering if you can make "meatballs" with the sausage, skewer them on bamboo skewers, grill them and serve as an appetizer.


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