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Hi,

I was poking around and came across this recipe for Thai sausage. Everything looks OK and I have all the ingedients but the recipe specifically states to leave the pork on the counter for 1-2 days. It doesn't sound safe.

Here is a link,

http://importfood.com/recipes/esan_sausage.html

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Joe

Edited by CRUZMISL (log)
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If I were to make it, I would use freshly ground pork that I ground myself. Many of the recipes at Import Thai are actually uncredited recipes from the late Colonel Philpott (from his wife, actually, though he wrote the recipes), and he would never have posted a recipe that wasn't trustworthy. Ingredients and environment are different in Thailand than elsewhere, though, so use the freshest ingredients possible if you do try it.

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This is one of those things that has been done for years in a different country. Think cheese, yogurt, etc. Making these items often means doing something that the modern world says is a no-no. If it bothers you than don't do it. Refrigeration will retard the fermentation of the pork which is why the recipe calls for leaving it. There are bacteria (like if you were making sourdough starters) that need to grow to allow the right sour note in the sausage. If I remember right it's the rice that ferments for that.

Rona is right in that you would want to grind your own pork and have the freshest ingredients possible. Keep in mind that many Thais do not make this at home. I've never seen it made and my family was pretty well known for making most things from scratch (khapi or belanchan being the most horrid thing *shudder*).

So if you truly want to make an authentic thai sausage keep in mind that Thais have been doing that for years and no one gets sick. However, our guts have different bacteria that can handle the food we eat. Modern western stomach may not be able to handle it (I know I may not be able to eat certain things now).

*shrug* If you do try the recipe you may want to cook it well and try it first before serving it to anyone. If you end up sick then pitch it.

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I second OnigirFB's main point. I was in Chiang Mai in June and ate a ton of Isan sausage, never once getting sick and loving every bite. I've also made these to good effect using a variation of the recipe in Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet and David Thompson's Thai Food. We're all still here.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'll chime in. Although credit goes to Tim (TB88). He mentioned in one of the threads that part of what gives Thai food that difference in Thailand is that they're not afraid to ferment.

In North America, a concern would be the presence of different bacteria and their cultures.

Nope, scratch that, says Yoonhi. Culture indicates a level of control (like in yogurts). The concern here is uncontrolled micro-organisms.

Things like kim chi (for example) - you're working with the natural micro-organisms in the material. Soooooo....do we have the same micro-organisms in North America that we have in Chiang Mai? Probably not.

Having said all of that, I go back to the origal train of thought, which is that we may be a little too concerned about Nature having its wicked way with us. Try it as an experiment, but safety test it first before you put your friends to the test.

Leave a note as to what you've done, just to be safe (if you're alone).

Last comment - the fermented sausages of the North and NorthEast are to die for. Good luck.

Cheers

Peter

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I second OnigirFB's main point. I was in Chiang Mai in June and ate a ton of Isan sausage, never once getting sick and loving every bite. I've also made these to good effect using a variation of the recipe in Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet and David Thompson's Thai Food. We're all still here.

As someone who makes charcuterie (I love that thread about M.Rulman's book) I wonder what you think of the recipe. Would it be something you would try? Do you feel that it is a beginner's recipe? Or perhaps a more exert type thing. I love sai grok isaan and namsot. Did you happen to try that one? It served as something to eat with beer a lot of the time. People from the west can have a hard time though since it's not cooked. My dad actually would not let me eat it for a little bit because he was worried that my american grown gut could not handle it. THis is a guy who is a foodie/chef and ate whatever he liked and raised me to love oysters. He still tells tales of me eating 2 dozen when I was a 5 yo. Anyway sorry thought I'd asked an experts opinoin on what you think re the recipe and if you would attempt it here in the US. I would be afraid of where the pork came from since pork in the US is not that humanly raised. :sad:

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The issue here is lactic acid fermentation, where the rate of fermentation is rapid enough that the pH is quickly brought down below a level where dangerous microbes can flourish. Let us say, in Thailand, given a particular ambient temperature, by long empirical experimentation, recipes have been developed that include enough glutinous rice [for example] to jump start this lactic acid fermentation to keep the meat from "spoiling".

That empirical science will fail in the US, away from its home turf. What is the procedure in the US to initiate lactic fermentation, when making salame and similar "raw" sausages? Starters like milk powder are used instead. One suggestion would be to contact a State University that has a flourishing Meat Science or Food Science program and get their advice on how much non-fat dry milk powder to substitute for what quantity of the rice.

The anaerobic environment of the sausage meat inside a casing can be the home for very lethal organisms like the botulin microbe, whose toxin is heat resistant. Similarly, many other toxins are heat resistant even when the microbes are killed by heat and do an ugly job on the human system.

Checking the fall in pH over time [i.e. first 2-3 hours] is crucial if you are going to make such sausages, and you should invest in a high quality, laboratory-grade ph meter. Plus, you must get armed with some basic facts about the science of sausage making and food safety. You should make this experiment only under the eyes of a very experienced professional US trained sausage specialist or at a University food lab, for your first time.

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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