Vietnamese Head Cheese Sausage Vietnamese Sausages


A part of French Indochina for about 150 years, Vietnam adopted a few items from French culinary culture, interpreting them in a uniquely Vietnamese way. One of these is Charcuterie, including the making of sausages. Some of these sausages are very important on both the appetizer platter and in the making of Vietnam's famous Banh Mi Sandwiches. The word Gio in some of them refers to the multi-use pork paste on which they are based.

Given the huge Vietnamese populations now established in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California, many are available from Asian markets, particularly San Gabriel Superstore on Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel. They are all made in California, to the exacting standards of the community. For those not fortunate enough to have these available, Andrea Nguyen's books The Banh Mi Handbook ISBN 978-1-60774-533-4 (hc) & ISBN 978-1-60774-534-1 (ebook) and Into the Vietnamese Kitchen ISBN 978-1-58008-665-3 have recepies for several, including a few not listed here.


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Sausages




Gio Lua - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Silky Pork Roll]
Cut Viet Gio Lua Sausage Roll

This is the most widely eaten sausage in Vietnam, sometimes called "Vietnamese mortadella". It is typically 2-7/8 inches diameter and 4 inches long, weighing 12 ounces. It was Purchased from a large Asian market in Los Angeles (San Gabriel) for 2017 US $2.50 each - on Sale, probably usually around $3.49. Ing: Pork, modified tapioca starch, water, anchovy flavored fish sauce, corn starch, monosodium glutamate, sugar, sodium tripolyphosphate, egg white, baking powder, potato starch, pepper, garlic.

Gio Bi Sausage - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Pork Meat Loaf with Pork Skins Added]
Cut Viet Gio Bi Sausage Roll

This is a popular pork sausage. The photo specimen, made in the traditional way, wrapped in banana leaf was 2-3/4 inches diameter and weighed 12 ounces. Pork skins are included in a number of Vietnamese sausages, adding a firm gelatinous texture which I rather like. It was Purchased from a large Asian market in Los Angeles (San Gabriel) for 2017 US $3.99 each. Ing: Pork, pork skin, modified tapioca starch, water, anchovy flavored fish sauce (water, anchovy extract, salt, sugar) cornstarch, monosodium glutamate, sugar, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, baking powder, potato starch, pepper, garlic.

Gio Thu Sausage - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Vietnamese Head Cheese]
Cut Viet Gio Thu Sausage Roll

Head Cheese is quite popular in Vietnam, but made a bit differently from in Europe and North America. It has less gelatin and includes pork ears with crunchy cartilage (white streaks). The photo specimen was 2-3/4 inches diameter and weighed 13 ounces. It was Purchased from a large Asian market in Los Angeles (San Gabriel) for 2017 US $3.99 each. Ing: Pork ears, pork snouts, pork, water, sugar, potato starch, monosodium glutamate, salt, garlic powder, pepper, curing salt (salt, sodium nitrite 6.25%, FD&C #40), black pepper, shallot, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium erythorbate, spice, FD&C red #40.

Thit Doi Heo - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Cured Pork Roll]
Cut Viet Thit Doi Heo Pork Roll

This Pork Roll is based on ham (cured pork) rather than Gio paste. Vietnamese do like to include pork skin in sausages, and in this case the sausage not only includes it, it's wrapped in it. I like these because I do like the firm gelatinous texture of pork skins, and this one has plenty. It is a little more difficult to eat in Banh Mi sandwiches though, because the skin is a little tough and needs a firm bite. The photo specimen was 2-7/8 inches diameter and weighed 13 ounces.Ing: Pork, pork skin, water, potato starch, tapioca flour, sugar, monosodium glutamate, salt, garlic powder, dried onion, black pepper, white pepper, curing salt (salt, sodium nitrite 6.25&, FD&C red #40) sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium erythorbate, spice, food color FD&C red #40.

Thit Nguoi - (Fully Cooked)   -   [Chopped Ham with Natural Juices]
Cut Viet Thit Nguoi Sausage Roll

This is another sausage based on ham rather than Gio paste. The photo specimen was 2-3/4 inches diameter and weighed 12 ounces. Ing: Pork, water, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, cornstarch, cooking wine (water, rice, wheat, salt caramel), sodium tripolyphosphate, modified tapioca starch, Prague powder (salt, sodium nitrite max 6.25%, FD&C red #40), white pepper, garlic, nutmeg, sodium erythorbate.

Nem Chua - (Semi-Cured)   -   [Nam Sausage]
Two Viet Nem Chua Sausages

This small sausage has a firm, slightly gelatinous texture due to pork skin included. It is fairly garlicky with a distinct chili taste, but very little heat. It needs to be cooked before consumption and is probably used as an ingredient in stir fries and the like, very similarly to Chorizo de Bilbao in the Philippines (also a semi-cured sausage). The photo specimens were 4-1/8 inches long and 1.2 inches diameter, weighing 2 ounces each. Ing: Pork, pork rinds, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, garlic, potato starch, baking powder, sodium tripolyphosphate, pepper, chili, glucono delta lactone, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.

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