Sausage and White Aparagus

I found it strange that ordering pork sausage casings would be difficult. I mean, how do all the Chorizo manufacturers get theirs?

We wanted to make some Laotian Style Sausages for our Amuse Bouche, and after realising that the “Natural Casing” was not arriving, we decided to roll up the our “mix” in Cling Film, re-roll that in Tin Foil and steam them, before finishing them off in a hot pan.

Laocook Sausage

Semi Spicy Laotian Sausage, Blanched Cabbage and Dried Apricot.

There are many types of Sausage recipes, all calling for different herbs and spices. The Fat Ratio is important to us, because we don’t want our Sausages being too dry, or too greasy.

Sausages also have a reputation for using “left over meats” for the filling and being “quick and cheap food”, but if you make your own, you should choose a good quality cut, and not mince it too finely, the end results are well worth it.

We normally use Pork Neck, which has a good ratio of Fat to Meat, but you can use any type of meat. I have eaten Fish Sausages, in Fish Casing once in an elegant restaurant in London, wow, that must be hard work!.

***

I love Asparagus, and once tried (unsuccessfully) to grow it in my garden. The most common are the Green Spears, but there are also Wild (much thinner), Purple and White ones available.

White Asparagus is almost double the price of its Green brother. The reason for this is that it is harder to grow, take care of and harvest. Basically it is grown in the dark, or covered to deprive it of sunlight, without this light it cannot produce Chlorophyll, and in turn cannot turn green.

White Asparagus is widely available in jars, soaked in water, but these are nearly always overcooked and taste of, well, water.

When cooking any type of Asparagus, it is important not to overcook them, otherwise they will be stringy and mushy. We either Steam them or Blanch them, and always give them an Ice Bath, this not only stops them from further cooking, but also retains the vibrant colour (if using the Green Variety).

How long to Steam or Boil is up to you, I prefer our Spears to retain some “crunch”. Because not all spears are the same size, its best to take one out after while and taste it to how cooked it is (like testing pasta).

Laocook White Asparagus

Fresh White Asparagus, Garden Peas and Coriander, Pine Kernals with Truffle Oil and Foaming Hollandaise.

If you like frying Asparagus, either in a Pan or Wok, a good trick is to blanch them beforehand and keep them chilled before you need them, this way they will still be crunchy and cook at the same time as your other vegetables.

***

Staff dinner is always a highlight. We usually eat after Service, everyone taking it in turns to cook something up.

Kuchi Nem

Kuchi prepares one of our favourites, “Nhem”.

Kuchi Nem 2

Crunchy Rice, Som Moo, Herb, Spices, Roasted Peanuts and Fried Dried Chillies. What else does a dish need?

We make Nhem every time someones sends us some “Puk E-lurt”, or as we call them “Puk Sao Lurt” 😆

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4 thoughts on “Sausage and White Aparagus

  1. have you found a way to serve the lao fried rice (nhem) in the restaurant? the som moo makes it difficult if not illegal to do here in the states…

  2. Hi My, stay tuned, we will be posting more recipes soon.

    Hi Elgin, we dont actually serve the Nhem in the restaurant (yet). I know that some food standards around the globe are different, but I always think that it is the customers choice to eat something as long as it is described truly and well on the menu.

    When eating out, how many times have I seen a Steak Tartare returned to the kitchen because it is raw? 😆

    Regarding the Nhem, because Fermentation is not really a technique used on menues, I can see why some chefs would be cautious serving it. But there are risks in many foods such as Sushis and Sashimis, and it is always up to the customer whether they they want to eat such an item.

    Though not fermented, the US has only just allowed Spanish Iberian Ham (Jámon Pata Negra) to be shipped over the Atlantic, for years you guys have been missing on one of Spain and Europes most wonderful hams, though the process of making this Ham for shipping, is completely different to what is served here in the Tapas Bars and Restaurants.

    Saying that, I know that some of the US´s best steak houses keep their meat hung for more than 30 weeks, and this cut has to have some of the mould shaved off before cooking.

    So really, I all depends on what the consumer wants, and if the chef wants to serve it.

  3. There are some Thai restaurants serving nhem now and I won’t be surprised if it becomes part of the "Thai" menu along with everything else. But they don’t put som moo in it…(I think raw pork is illegal to serve in restaurants here, whether cured or not). I’m not sure though. The US is among the paranoid countries, though, as far as "public safety" and "public health" is concerned.

    We finally are able to import Iberian ham, but what about unpasteurized cheese?

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