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Lao Som Moo Recipe (Fermented Sour Pork Sausage)

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This homemade Lao som moo recipe is the secret to creating the most amazing fermented sour pork sausages EVER! They’re great as a tasty snack, a delightful side, or make them the star ingredient in your favorite Lao dishes. Easy to make, authentic, and unbeatably delicious!

Close-up of Lao som moo sausage slices with vibrant chili peppers, sliced garlic, and lime on a woven bamboo mat.

What is som moo

Som moo is a traditional Lao fermented, pickled sour pork sausage, beloved for its distinct sour flavor. This staple of Lao cuisine is made by fermenting seasoned pork and has a rubbery texture due to the addition of shredded pork skin.

Lao sour pork is also a versatile ingredient, perfect in dishes like larb som moo (fermented pork salad) and nam khao tod (Lao crispy fried rice). The fermented pork can be stir-fried, grilled, deep-fried, eaten raw, or paired with rice as a snack.

Fermented sour pork sausage

Lao som moo is made by mixing minced pork, pork skin, garlic, sticky rice, chilies, and salt. Once mixed, the mixture is shaped into a traditional sausage form and left to sit and ferment.

A hand holding a slice of Lao som moo fermented pork sausage with fresh ingredients in the background.

Over a few days, the flavors meld together, and the fermentation process gives som moo its distinctive flavor.

After fermenting, the mixture is shaped and formed into traditional sausage shapes using either plastic or natural casing.

Close-up of Lao som moo sausage slices with chilies, lime wedge, and fresh garlic, ready for a Thai meal.

Finally, the sausages are left to age in a cool, dry place. This adds more depth to the taste and the flavors can develop even further.

Why try this Lao sausage recipe

  • It’s made with simple ingredients: This pickled sour pork sausage is made from basic ingredients like pork, rice, and traditional Lao spices.
  • It’s fun to make at home: Som moo can be found at some Asian grocery stores, but making it at home is so much fun and much more delicious.
  • It’s a unique sausage: Som moo has a unique taste unlike any other sausages, with a blend of sour and savory notes.
  • It’s traditional: This recipe showcases the age-old art of food fermentation and preservation, a key aspect of Thai and Lao food.
  • It’s versatile: You can enjoy it as a standalone snack, in salads, or as a tasty side.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for som moo displayed on a banana leaf: minced lean pork, sliced pork skin, crushed garlic, sticky rice, and salt.
  • Lean pork – Trimming off any excess fat from the lean pork is crucial, as fat can become rancid during the fermentation process. Unlike the lean parts of the meat, fat doesn’t ferment well. Instead, it can spoil, affecting both the taste and safety of your som moo sausages.
  • Pork skin – Adds an extra layer of texture and a subtle chewiness.
  • Fresh chili peppers – You can fill each fermented pork sausage with as many chilies you want.
  • Sticky rice – Sticky rice helps to bind all the ingredients and feeds the yeasts during fermentation, adding an extra tangy sourness to the sausage.
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Banana leaf or plastic wrap

How to make naem sausage

  1. Step-by-step preparation for pork in som moo: pork skin being soaked, thinly sliced, and minced lean pork on a chopping board.

    1. Boil pork skin over medium heat until soft, approx 20 minutes.

    2. Remove any fat and cut the remaining meat into thin strips.

    3. Trim and discard the fat from the pork meat, leaving only lean meat. Then, mince the pork using a food processor or butcher’s knife.

  2. Mixing ingredients for fermented sausage: minced pork, sticky rice, and garlic before mixing, and the mixture after blending.

    4. Add minced pork, slices of pork skin, sticky rice, garlic, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture until well combined, about 5–10 minutes.

  3. Hands wrapping Som Moo in plastic for fermentation and the final product wrapped in banana leaves tied with rubber bands, ready for fermentation.

    5. Lay plastic wrap or a banana leaf on a cutting board, spoon some of the mix onto it. Add a chili, then fold and roll it snugly into a tight cylinder. Seal the ends, press out air, and tie it with a rubber band. Repeat with all the meat to get compact, airtight rolls.

  4. 6. Store the sausages in a dark place at room temperature for a minimum of two days. Let it rest longer for more tanginess.

How to serve

Slice the fermented sausage thinly, this makes it easier to eat. Arrange the sliced sausage on a serving platter and optionally serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Serving suggestions

  • Pair it with sticky rice, a spicy salad like som tum Thai or long bean salad, and fresh vegetables like cucumbers, Thai eggplants, and lettuce.
  • For extra spice, pair with Thai bird’s eye chilies.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or mint.
  • Grill or fry the sausage for a flavorful twist.
  • Serve as part of a charcuterie board.

Fun facts

  • Som moo translates to ‘sour pork’. It’s a staple in Laos that’s comparable to Vietnam’s nem chua and Thailand’s Naem.
  • Each variant of the fermented sausages across Southeast Asia have their own twist, some are sweeter, some spicier, but the Lao version is on the sour side.
  • In Laos, som moo is often wrapped in banana leaves, adding a unique flavor.
  • It’s common to spot these fermented sausages at street food markets and events like Lao New Year and family gatherings, often served with larb and papaya salads.

Frequently asked questions

Where to buy som moo?

You can find som moo at Southeast Asian markets, especially those that offer Thai and Lao food. Some online specialty food retailers may stock som moo. Asian grocery stores might have it stored in the refrigerated section.

Is som moo spicy?

The spice level of som moo varies on the type of chilies used. If you prefer it spicy, use spicy chilies like bird’s eye chilies. If you like it mild, use a mild type of chili pepper.

Is som moo gluten-free?

This recipe is gluten-free. However, make sure to always double-check the labeling of store-bought ingredients.

More Lao recipes you’ll love

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Servings: 4

Description

Enjoy the unique flavors of som moo, a fermented pork sausage infused with the bold flavors of garlic, chilies, and sticky rice.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 1: Boil pork skin over medium heat until soft, approx 20 minutes.
    2: Remove any fat and cut the remaining meat into thin strips.
    3: Trim and discard the fat from the pork meat, leaving only lean meat. Then, mince the pork using a food processor or butcher's knife.

  2. Add minced pork, slices of pork skin, sticky rice, garlic, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture until well combined, about 5–10 minutes.

  3. Lay plastic wrap or a banana leaf on a cutting board, spoon some of the mix onto it. Add a chili, then fold and roll it snugly into a tight cylinder. Seal the ends, press out air, and tie it with a rubber band. Repeat with all the meat to get compact, airtight rolls.

  4. Store the sausages in a dark place at room temperature for a minimum of two days. Let it rest longer for more tanginess.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
Keywords: som moo, som moo recipe, fermented sour pork sausage
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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