LCTV: Som Moo Recipe, Laocook Style.

At Laocook, we get many requests for recipes, and recipes for Som Moo seem to be the most popular.

Som Moo, (Fermented or Soured Pork Sausage) is one of our favourite dishes.

Our recipe has been slightly adjusted, as you will see. Though the recipe is basically straight forward, you will need to pay attention to the method.



34 thoughts on “LCTV: Som Moo Recipe, Laocook Style.

  1. Hey guys,
    Nice work. Some questions:
    – Do you use pork tenderloin?
    – Sometimes a green leaf is inserted between the mixture and the wrapper. What is that?
    – Can you use a Kitchen Aid mixer to save yourself from kneading?

    Now that you’ve done the som moo, how about a Lao fried rice (nam) video?

  2. Another question:
    Is som moo Lao or is this one of those dishes adopted from the Vietnamese (Nem Chua)?

  3. Hi Elgin,

    We use Pork Rump, but you can use Tenderloin.

    The Green Leaf if called “Bai Ma Yohm” or Star Gooseberry Leaves

    You can use the Kitchen Aid (but where is the fun in that? 😉 ), just be careful not to over knead the meat, doing it by hand means you “can feel it when it is ready”.

    Notice that we dont use any chemicals? Most mass produced Som Moo has a more reddish look, but your homemade one will have a natural hue.

    The jury is still out on whether Som Moo originated in Vietnam, and has sparked a long debate within the team! 😉

  4. Pingback: Lao Planet » Blog Archive » LCTV Som Moo. Is it Lao, Viet or Salami?

  5. Excellent.

    If I had to guess, I would say Som Moo is Lao, and the Vietnamese are the ones who adopted it. Though on balance, the Lao have adopted more from the Vietnamese (mainly because of the huge number of Vietnamese immigrants during the French era), I have noticed unmistakably Lao dishes on Vietnamese menus, so I know they are also borrowing.

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  7. so, how long do people need to store the pack soo moo for ? how many day in a cool dark place? yea..? why the sticky rice for, to make it taste sour? where do the suasage get it sour taste from?

  8. Hola Chia, the Som Moo should be fermented for up to three days, why in a dark place?, because light, and especially sunlight can change the temperature. The meat is fermented by the sticky rice, much as Som Calumbee (Soured Cabbage) is. Putting it in the fridge will slower the fermenting, if you keep it for too long, it will become too sour.

  9. Hello what do you add to the mixture to make it stick together, because the mixture is almost falling apart after 3 days

  10. Hi Neo,

    It should be kneaded until it is sticky and will "hold together", (you can roll it tightly in film, in a shape of a sausage if you dont want to use Banana leaves)

    If yours is falling apart, I guess that either the chunks are to big, or it hasnt been kneaded enough.

    However, it shouldnt effect the taste though. 🙂

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  12. Pingback: laocook » Blog Archive » LCTV: Som Moo II

  13. I’ve attempt to make this, but after kneading the ground pork for a period of time it became brown. What do the other people use to have the color pink. Please advised

  14. Hi Phally.

    It is strange that the pork would turn brown.

    Commercial producers use forms of Dextrose (sweetener), Nitrites and Nitrates, which help the curing process as well as giving the finished product that unnatural “Pink Colour” and “Sweetness”.

    However, homemade Som Moo is always better, but you wont get that “Pinkness” because you are not using chemicals or artificial flavourings.

  15. Hello Again:

    I don’t know why after kneading the pork it became brown. I bought fresh ground pork from the store. After mixing salt, sugar and fresh ground garlic then finally some fish sauce as what the ingredients called for, it became brown. Do you think that this had turn the product bad. After leaving you the previous message, I went and added a few drops of red food coloring. Thus, this made the meat the actual color the sausage found sold in most asian stores. Now, I don’t know what it taste like yet. I hope that it is not poisonous 🙂 I will let you know what it turn out to be. D
    Would you please respond to let me know if the brown suasage is edible. I am afraid now.


  16. Hola Phally,

    You said that you added Fish Sauce, that should not have been done (it is not one of the ingredients that we use!). It will only make your Som Moo salty. The sourness comes with the reaction of the Sticky Rice, and the saltiness from normal Table Salt. That is the balance that you ae looking for.

    I think that after a few days storage your version will be overly salty, and I am sad to say should be destined for the bin!

  17. Hi,
    Can you tell me how long does the sticky rice need to dry for?  Is it until crispy? How many hours?  Thanks

  18. Hola Josie,

    The Sticky Rice should be “just” dry, meaning not too soggy. Left over Sticky Rice, washed to loosen up the grains a little, then squeezed dry will work.

    If you dont want to have grains of rice in the dish, you can use Rice Water, which is the water used to clean rice. The milky coloured liquid can be added instead of the Rice grains. The enzymes in the water will help ferment the dish faster.

    Have fun. 🙂

  19. Hi again, i have been trying to do this dish but still no luck.
    when you mention the sticky rice, do you mean glutinous rice? or just ordinary rice cooked long?. what about the ratio of rice/meat?.

    best regards.

  20. can you please give all the quantities of the ingredients? As I imagine this is vital to get the proportion of flavours and curing process right.


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  22. After kneading the pork with the ingredients listed in the recipe, the hue of the pork went from a nice pink, to a more dim colour.  Not grey, but not really pink either.  Did I over-knead?  Also, I wrapped it in banana leaves (not as pretty looking as yours, but not too shabby either :))  and am wondering how to store it whilst it ferments.  Our room temperatures are usually around 21-24 C.  Thanks.
    By the way, your blog has gotten me to start cooking lao food, and I’ve been rather plesantly surprised.  A question though, if you were to use your pho stock to actually make pho, how would you suggest to season it for use as a soup?

  23. hm. .. appearantly something went wrong when making the som moo.  i followed your directions exactly except i double-wrapped it in banana leaves instead of plastic wrap.  I put them in the cupboard for 3 days, and just checked on them.  Their was a bit of furry mold on the outside, not too much though (maybe the banana leaves were still wet somehow after thawing?).  And the som moo itself was the colour of cooked pork:  white.  It smells okay, considering it’s supposed to be a fermented product, but I dunno where I went wrong.  As the meat did change colour slightly whilst I was making it.  I’d love to have another go, hopefully soon.

  24. Hi Milton, and thanks for you comments.
    It is not uncommon for the pork to change colour after kneading. Adding any Nitrates or Nitrites can help with the colour, though we prefer not to use it. A good homemade Som Moo shouldnt be “pink” when finished, and a whitish looking finished product is a result of the fermantation process and how long it has been subjected to it.
    It is very important to limit the amount of oxygen contact when wrapping the pork (hence we use cling film, then sometimes use Banana leaf afterwards). I think that the dampness of your defrosted Banana Leaves may have something to do with the mould.
    21 to 24ºC is okay for fermentation as long as it is not damp.
    Please do try again and let us know what happens.

  25. Hm. .. so a homemade som moo will be white/grey, as if the pork was “cooked”?!  How is it then yours is so pink, without the usage of nitrate/nitrites?  Maybe a better question then, if the colour can be off, is what would be a sign that it is not safe to eat?  Thanks again for the reply.  I look forward to trying again.

  26. Hi Milton,
    Homemade Som Moo will be a colour between pale pink and white, if it is too white, it could be a sign of over-fermentation.
    Speaking with the rest if the team about your “white” pork, we all agree it could be from your meat. Make sure that you use super fresh meat from a reliable butcher, better still, mince it yourself.
    If the taste (or smell) is overly sour, then it is best to bin it.

  27. Hello Vienne
    Is it ok to use ground pork from the store ? My mother in law said that you can not use ground pork from the store. To buy pork and it dose not matter what cut of pork either, cut all the fat off of it, you want no fat what so ever. Then grind or mince and use that to make Naam. Also dose it have to be sticky Rice ( sweet rice) ? Also dose Naam powder help the fermentation process ? Thks for your time

  28. Hello John,

    It is better to buy a piece of pork with no fat and ask the butcher to mince it for you, pre-minced pork in stores is sometimes mixed with other meats and definately some fats.

    The rice should be Glutinous Rice (Sticky Rice), I have looked around the web and have also seen it called Sweet Rice, therefore I would assume it is the same thing, albeit a little misleading!

    You could use steamed jasmine rice, but the end result will be different, less binding (sticky) and may fall apart a bit.

    If you are going to use the packaged mix, there is no need to add any of my ingredients, just follow the instructions on the package.

    Do read the list of ingredients on the package, they sound like a chemistry lesson! lol

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