Thailand’s – Sai Krok Issan

Are you ready for something different. This fresh/fermented sausage is part of Northeastern Thailand’s sausage scene. This sausage is made with ground pork and pork fat, mixed with garlic and rice, then fermented for several days.

The flavors of this Sai Krok Issan are heavy on the garlic flavor with a distinctive “tangy” or “sourly” note. This tangy flavor happens through the process of fermentation. As the bacteria consume the available food in the sausage they release lactic acid. This in turn lowers the pH causing the sausage to be more acidic. Think Kim Chi, pickles, or sauerkraut. This is truly a unique and delicious sausage that is remarkably addictive.

In the recipe below I’ve added a starter culture to help out with fermentation. By adding the starter culture LHP-Dry we are in essence increasing the amount of good lactic acid producing bacteria that are present allowing us to achieve fermentation in just 24 hours (rather than 72-96 hours). This is totally optional but if you like the predictability, safety, and faster fermentation time I would suggest grabbing a pack of this particular starter culture, store it in your freezer, and only take it out when you need it (you don’t need much). This culture can also be used to make summer sausage, pepperoni, snack sticks, and all sorts of other “tangy” charcuterie creations.

Follow basic fermented sausage preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F)
  3. Any liquid that is added to the mince needs to be ice cold
  4. Mix your very chilled meat and seasonings till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Stuff the mince into sausage casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Ferment at 85F for 24 hours (if using a starter culture)
    -If fermenting naturally then ferment at room temp for 72-96 hours
  7. Cook till the internal temperature reaches 155F

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!

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Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Sai Krok Issan

A Tangy Fermented Thai Sausage
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
fermenting time1 d
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams



  • Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes. Place the meat and fat in the freezer for an hour or until the temp reaches 32f – 34F.
  • With a mortar and pestle add the salt, cure, and garlic. Begin to mash till it forms a paste. Once it forms a paste add the cooked rice, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves. Mix so it's well incorporated. Set to the side
  • Prepare the starter culture and set to the side. Let it rehydrate for 30 minutes prior to using)
  • Grind your very chilled meat and fat on a course plate (10mm)
  • Add the rest of the seasonings, the starter culture, and the rice/garlic/cilantro/lime leaves mixture to your mince meat and mix till it becomes very tacky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
  • Stuff your mince meat into the casings, link by tying off 2 inch segments, and prick out any air pockets.

Fermentation Instructions

  • Hang your sausages in an area that is 80F-90F for 24 hours. You can place this in an oven with the light on as well (make sure the oven is off)
  • after 24 hours you can refrigerate your sausage and cook when you are ready!!

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3 thoughts on “Thailand’s – Sai Krok Issan

  1. Larry

    5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe !

  2. Michi Henning
    Michi Henning

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday. Turned out truly great. Highly recommended for something different and getting some variety into fried sausage!

  3. Noah Overby
    Noah Overby

    I’ve made sai krok issan in the past without starter culture. It didn’t get quite as tangy as I like it. Probably my cool, Pacific Northwest weather was not warm enough to really kick up the lactic fermentation for the couple of days that it hung. My Thai in-laws enjoyed it nonetheless!

    One recommendation that I’d make is to grill the sausages if you can. I’m sure pan fried is delicious too, but the smokiness you get from grilling adds another dimension. If you roam the streets of Thailand you’re likely to find street venders with these small sausages suspended over little charcoal grills.

    I do recommend eating these with slices of raw cabbage, nibbles of fresh birds eye chilies, toasted peanuts, thin slices of fresh ginger, and additional sticky rice. Throw in an ice cold beer, and you just might think you’re in Northern Thailand.

    Thanks for posting this I look forward to trying the starter culture.

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