Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken & Cabbage Salad) Sandwich

This month’s CharcutePalooza challenge had the least specific parameters thus far.  The task was to simply create an encased poultry sausage.  Initially, I thought the lack of strict parameters would be nice as I’d be able to be more creative than usual.  However, I quickly realized I hadn’t eaten many poultry sausages and lacked interesting ideas for what to make.  The only poultry sausage that came to mind was the duck sausage topped with foie gras served at Hot Doug’s.  Since I copied another Chicago sausage eatery’s menu item last month, I felt obligated to create something original this time around.


With only one poultry sausage to work off of as inspiration, I turned to poultry dishes I liked to eat.  A few came to mind, but the one that stuck was goi ga: Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad. The bright and refreshing nature of the dish would be a welcome treat in the sweltering summer heat.

Typically, goi ga consists of shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, shredded chicken, pickled onion, Thai basil, mint, cilantro, and lime & fish sauce vinaigrette.  I tend to prefer regular basil over Thai basil and only a small amount of mint for this dish.


I decided to make the sausage consist of marinated chicken, pork fat, basil, cilantro, mint, and garlic.  The sausage would then be nestled between a bun lubricated with mayo and topped with a Vietnamese cabbage slaw taken directly from the source dish.


Stuffing the sausages was pretty easy since I had experience stuffing merguez last month.  This time around, though, I used salt-packed hog casings rather than fresh lamb casings.  According to Michael Ruhlman, this type of casing provides the best snap-factor.  However, the brand I bought must not have been the best quality.  The snap-factor wasn’t there at all and in fact the texture was slightly chewy and tough.


Aside from the disappointing casings, I was happy with the sausage and sandwich as a whole.  It definitely reminded me of traditional goi ga, but it was different enough to taste like something new.  Until I can find quality hog casings, though, I think I’d rather have this sausage cooked as freeform patties or links.




Mise En Place (for 900 g / 2 lbs chicken)

  1. 42 g (2 Tbsp.) honey
  2. 45 g (3 Tbsp.) fish sauce
  3. 40 g (~2 limes) lime juice


  1. Combine all ingredients and mix until homogenized

Goi Ga Sausage

Mise En Place

  1. 900 g (~ 2 lbs) dark meat chicken, cut into strips for grinding
  2. 300 g (~ 2/3 lbs) pork fat, cut into strips for grinding
  3. 127 g marinade
  4. 9 g garlic, minced
  5. 16 g basil, chopped
  6. 16 g cilantro, chopped
  7. 5 g mint, chopped


  1. Combine chicken, herbs, garlic, and marinade and marinate overnight
  2. Drain marinade
  3. Follow standard sausage grinding and stuffing procedures

Lime & Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

Mise En Place

  1. 105 g oil
  2. 10 g (~1/2 lime) lime juice
  3. 15 g (1 Tbsp.) fish sauce
  4. 21 g (1 Tbsp.) honey


  1. Combine lime juice, fish sauce, and honey
  2. Slowly whisk in oil until incorporated

Goi Ga Slaw

Mise En Place

  1. 250 g (~1/2 lbs) cabbage, shredded
  2. 100 g (~1/5 lbs) carrot, shredded
  3. Pickled shallots
  4. Fresh basil
  5. Fresh cilantro
  6. Fresh mint
  7. Lime & fish sauce vinaigrette


  1. Combine cabbage and carrot
  2. Add pickled shallots, herbs, and vinaigrette to taste


  1. This has given me some inspiration.. I think I am going to experiment with pork and lamb as well.