Chiang Mai Sausage and Sticky Rice Buns

Chiang Mai Sausage and Sticky Rice Buns

By Dylan Spaniel

I made these sausages at my first MEATing in June, and I tried to make them just like how I saw them made in Chiang Mai. With the exception of twisting them into bun-length links (I ate these for two years and never saw that happen), it’s just like the northern Thai sausage I grew to love. You can also forgo the sticky rice buns and serve the sausages chopped up with all the garnishes.

One last note: these sausages are best eaten fresh. After four days, or so, the kaffir lime will start to assert dominance over the other flavors in a less-than-pleasant (sour, even) manner.


Makes about 50 (Yes, you’re right, that IS a lot)

The Setup

3 pounds ground pork, chilled
2 cups diced pork fat (preferably from the belly), chilled
30 kaffir lime leaves (you can order these here)
3 cups finely chopped fresh lemongrass
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh galangal
3/4 cup red curry paste
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/8 cups thin soy sauce
15-25 feet of sausage casings (I used the smaller lamb casings, which you’ll need more of, but traditionally it’s made with pork)
Prepared sticky rice, to serve
Chopped ginger, to serve
Chopped toasted peanuts, to serve
Chopped Thai chiles, to serve
Nam Prik Num (Thai chili paste salsa), to serve


1. In a mortar and pestle, pound together the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal until completely pulverized. If you use a food processor rather than a mortar, you’re going to risk bursting your casings with the rigid lemongrass. Make sure it’s totally pulped.

2. In a large chilled mixing bowl, mix your paste with the pork, fat, curry paste, turmeric, sugar, and soy. Mix it by hand lightly for the best texture – don’t knead. Chill the mixture.

3. Stuff the sausage into the casings per whatever voodoo is best for your particular stuffer machine, twisting into 6″ lengths. Let sit overnight if possible.

4. Poke a number of small holes in the casing and grill over low heat 6-8 minutes, until golden brown.

5. Draw upon all of your dormant Play-Doh skills to make sticky rice discs. When the sausages are ready, wrap them with the rice “bun” and top with the ginger, peanuts, chiles, and Nam Prik Num.