How to Make Nduja – Authentic Italian

Want to make something different. This might be the exact thing you are looking for. Nduja is a spicy, smoky, spreadable salami that packs such incredible and intense flavor in every bite. So what is nduja?

Nduja (pronounced “en-DOO-ya”) originated in Italy and is possibly one of the most well known pieces of charcuterie to come out of Calabria. This fermented sausage has a very high fat content and is unique in the fact that it is very soft. Unlike regular salami, nduja is easily spreadable and offers a completely different experience while eating. This charcuterie is made with very unique chili peppers and paste giving nduja a very special flavor profile that is both spicy and smoky.

To make nduja you will need pork shoulder, pork fat, and Calabrian pepper paste. All of this is ground finely and mixed together before stuffing it into a hog casing or a synthetic casing. After a quick fermentation period the nduja is cold smoked then allowed to mature or dry in a controlled environment for 8+ weeks (depending on the size).

This charcuterie can be eaten as is, over warmed crusty bread, or added to pizzas, pastas, fruit, and other dishes for an elevated flavor.

Here are a few special items and ingredients that you will need for this project. Click on the item to get more info

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4 from 1 vote

How to Make Nduja – Authentic Italian

Nduja is a spreadable salami that is smoky, spicy, and incredibly delicious
Prep Time2 hrs
60 d
Total Time60 d 2 hrs
How much do you want to make? 1362 grams

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Grind chilled meat and fat through 6mm plate. Re chill then grind 2 more times through a 4.5 mm plate. Make sure it's partially frozen between grinds. The mince should look uniform.
  • Prepare the casing by rehydrating in water and prepare the starter culture as it needs to rehydrate for a least 30 minutes
  • Once you have everything ready add all your spices, chili paste, and starter culture to your mince and begin mixing. Mix well for about 5-7 minutes till everything is thoroughly incorporated. It should feel very wet and soft.
  • Stuff into your casing and place into a fermentation chamber that is set at 75-85 F and 90% humidity for 12-24 hours. Your target pH should be 5.0-5.2
  • Once you have reached the target pH you can cold smoke it for 8 hours (optional). Be sure to keep the temperature of your smoker under 70F. Adding a bag of ice to the chamber helps keep the temp low. After you cold smoke (if you choose to do this) transfer the nduja to your drying chamber.
  • Brush with mold 600
  • The drying conditions should be set to 55F and 80% humidity. Leave it in here for at lest 6-8 weeks

13 thoughts on “How to Make Nduja – Authentic Italian

  1. Mike
    Mike

    Awesome video and thank you for all the detail. You mention you can use a smaller casing for the Nduja, if you were to go that route, would hanging time be quicker? Or is hanging time, as you mentioned, purely for flavor development? Thanks!

  2. Eric
    Eric

    Hanging time is partly drying and partly flavor development. If you case this into a smaller casing it will be ready sooner though. If you use cure #2 you’ll want to make sure you allow the nduja to hang and dry for at least 31 days before you cut into it to allow the cure to work properly. Often what I would do is cut a small portion off the bottom (after it was ready) and retie the casing to let it hang longer.

    1. Mike
      Mike

      Awesome, thank you! Looking forward to making this. I’ll be sure to report back once I taste it.

      1. Eric
        Eric

        Looking forward to hearing about it. This is one of our favorites..

  3. mat
    mat

    4 stars
    MIKE bear in mind Cure#2 needs a good 30 days to convert the Nitrate to Nitrite and make it safe to consume. Shorter cure times will mean you are consuming higher levels of Nitrate.

  4. Vojtech Kalasek
    Vojtech Kalasek

    Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. I done my first batch and it taste amazing. So now I need to make my own chilli paste. Your page ROCKS 👍👍👍

    1. Eric
      Eric

      That’s awesome! This is one of my favs!!

  5. Guy Albanese
    Guy Albanese

    I noticed in one of your reply’s you said make sure there is no vinegar in the chili paste. But I looked at the ingredients of the one you have in the recipe link and it does contain vinegar. Is that one ok to use.

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Hey Guy. Very keen eye. These peppers are packed in oil so even though there’s a little vinegar mentioned these peppers are good to go. If they were packed in vinegar then I would suggest finding a different pepper.

  6. Robert
    Robert

    The calculator is not right
    Meat and fat I did put 1000
    And it show 3.333 pork shoulder and 3.333 back fat ? How come that is a 1000
    It’s clearly 6.666

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Hi Robert. Thanks for your message. The calculator works but the wording is a little funny (mainly because this sausage is so unique). I’ve changed the wording to say “How much do you want to make?”. I think this is better. So just enter how much nduja you want to make (in grams) and the recipe will calculate the ingredients for you. I hope that helps.

  7. Pete Esche
    Pete Esche

    Hi Eric! I’m about to try this recipe with some left overs from butchering a fresh man for culatello. I notice you have Calabrian chili paste in the ingredients list but I don’t see you using it in the video (unless I missed it). Is it optional? Which way do you prefer it?

    Pete

    1. Eric
      Eric

      Hi Pete. The pepper paste is added at minute 3:50 in the video. It’s a pretty necessary ingredient as it not only adds to the awesome flavor but it also aids in the spreadable quality..

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