Sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) is northern Thai sausage, and one of the serious gems of northern Lanna cuisine – it’s something I really look forward to eating when I take a trip to the north of Thailand. The sausage is famous especially in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) is much more than just a sausage, it’s an herb infused, spicy sauce, that’s absolutely packed with flavor and fragrance.
In Chiang Mai, you’ll find tons of vendors selling sai ua (ไส้อั่ว), everyone with their slightly own unique recipe. The basic ingredients that go into the sausage are ground pork, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and then a handful of other dry seasoning and spices. I’ve had quite a few different version in Chiang Mai, some of them are more fatty and more porky, while others are more herb filled and spicy. It all sort of depends on your personal preference which version you like and for myself it sort of depends on the mood I’m in. Most of the time I tend to prefer the herb filled version of sai ua (ไส้อั่ว).
Where should I get sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) in Chiang Mai? There are many places scattered throughout Chiang Mai that are extremely famous for making delicious sausage. It’s available at street food stands, at markets, and often at northern Thai restaurants as well. In Thailand, if you’re from Bangkok and you visit Chiang Mai, you cannot return home without bringing some northern Thai sausage with you; You family would not be happy. Warorot Market, located in the center of Chiang Mai is a famous place that many people go to buy their supply of sai ua. But there’s another famous, maybe a little more local of a market, called Ton Payom Market (ตลาดต้นพยอม) that is also known for its many sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) vendors. I think there were about ten different places to choose from, so after some contemplation we just had to choose a place. We chose Sai Ua La Wan (ร้านไส้อั่วลาวัลย์).
You’ll know there’s sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) available when you notice a big coil of meat sitting on the table. They normally have it ready to go, you buy by the kilo, and then they’ll wrap it up and prepare it for you to take away. There are other places where they heat it up for you to eat right there, but at this place it was more of a takeaway spot.
The sausage at Sai Ua La Wan (ร้านไส้อั่วลาวัลย์) was sort of inbetween the really herb filled version and the meaty kind. It had good meatiness to it, but it was also nice and spice filled. I thought it was quite a good balance. I probably prefer the more heavily herb flavored versions, but I still thought the sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) at Sai Ua La Wan (ร้านไส้อั่วลาวัลย์) was good.
If you’re ever in Chiang Mai, sai ua (ไส้อั่ว) is something you need to try. It’s one of the most flavorful sausages ever.
Sai Ua La Wan (ร้านไส้อั่วลาวัลย์)
Address: Ton Payom Market (Suthep Market), near Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
Open: From 8 am – 5 pm daily
Price: 320 THB per kg (I bought ½ kilo)
กาดต้นพยอม อยู่ด้านหลังมหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่ ตำบลสุเทพ อำเภอเมือง จังหวัดเชียงใหม่
ไส้อั่ว กิโลละ 320 บาท
เปิด 8.00 – 17.00 น.
Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network
Mark is the eater at: http://migrationology.com/blog & http://www.eatingthaifood.com/blog/
Thai food guide: http://www.eatingthaifood.com/eating-thai-food-guide/
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