Vietnamese Blood Sausage Doi Huyet

blood sausage doi huyet

 

The mere mention of blood can make some people squirm and uneasy, let alone the thought of eating it.  But we thoroughly enjoy all forms of food made with blood and are not squeamish one bit.  So to celebrate Halloween, we’re making something with blood…and guts: Vietnamese blood sausage (doi huyet)!  Blood sausages have been around for thousands of years, and classically made of the fresh uncoagulated blood on the day of slaughter.  The French call it boudin noir, Spaniards: morcilla, English: black pudding, Germans: blutwurst, and Koreans: soondae. Whatever it’s called, we love it for the deeply complex and rich taste. With the glamorization of nose-to-tail eating, we hope blood sausages will get’s it’s proper due in the culinary landscape along side pig ears, tongues, and trotters. In Vietnam, doi huyet is often eatened as a snack, accompanied by the ubiquitous dipping sauce of fish sauce, lime, and hot chile pepper. It’s also added to chao long, a rice porridge filled with all types of delectable offal.

ngo om rau ram

 

Doi huyet, is marvelous because it’s so simple and relies on two essential filler ingredients and one special flavoring agent. The fillers are fresh ngo om (rice paddy herb) and rau ram (coriander leaves). Ngo om adds tangy citrus and hints cumin flavor while rau ram adds a slightly peppery and spicy note. Filler ingredients from other countries vary widely from barley to rice and even noodles. But aside from the fresh herbs, the game changer here is a dab of shrimp paste. Pungent and aromatic, it works beautifully with the flavor of blood.  Mixing all these ingredients together along with the blood will result in an aroma that will leave you craving.

fresh pork blood

 

The best but hardest to find option is fresh uncoagulated blood. If you’re best friends with a butcher that can supply you fresh blood at a moments notice, then go for it. Otherwise, uncooked coagulated pork blood is readily available at most Asian grocers and will do just fine. Clean and prepared hog casing is also commonly available at your butcher and in Asian grocers. But unlike regular meat sausages which are stuffed, blood sausages are filled.  So what’s the difference? You don’t need any special meat grinder or sausage stuffer–all you need is a nice big funnel, gravity, and a chopstick.

blood sausage doi huyet

 

Drain the hog casing and double tie a knot on one end, set aside.  At the same time, heat a large 4-6 qt pot filled half way with water.

In large mixing bowl, combine pork blood, ground pork, ngo om, rau ram, pepper and shrimp paste. Using your hands and working quickly, break and combine until well mixed.  The mixture does not need to be finely minced–just well incorporated to make sure there are no large chunks of blood.

blood sausage doi huyet

 

Slide the open end of the hog casing on to the tip of the funnel. Holding both the casing and funnel together, add the pork blood mixture, about 1 cup at a time. Use a chopstick to push the contents down the funnel and gravity will do the rest. Continue until casing is filled and firm. Make sure there are no big air gaps and double tie the end and snip off any unused casing.

blood sausage doi huyet

 

Making links are optional. To make links, it’s helpful to have a second pair of hands to hold one end stable. Take about 6-8 inch lengths and twist at least three times and repeat for additional links.

When the pot of water boils, carefully add the blood sausage. It’s crucial that you do not leave the sausages unattended as the sausage expands during cooking and may burst if left unattended. About 7-8 minutes into the boil, you must decompress the sausage.  Using a ladle or soft tongs, lift the links towards the water surface and with a clean toothpick or a new safety pin, pierce each link in several spots.  Try to pierce the links just beneath the water surface or the sides of the link because a small amount of blood may squirt out and you don’t want it to squirt on you.  Don’t worry, the tiny holes will seal off. Cook for about 25 minutes total.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and remove the the blood sausages to the water bath. Let the sausage cool to the touch, drain, and enjoy. No need to re-fry or saute. It’s best to eat this on the same day but will keep well for 2-3 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month.

blood sausage doi huyet
We just love the fragrant fresh herbs intermixed with the complex texture of the coagulated blood as well as the subtle whiffs of shrimp paste. Enjoy in chao long, by itself, or with a simple lime, fish sauce, and chile pepper dipping sauce with bottles of beer all around.  Now all this talk of blood and guts didn’t scare you off did it? Good, because now that you’ve seen how easy it is make your own Vietnamese blood sausage, don’t be shy, dig in!

Doi Huyet Vietnamese Blood Sausage

Ingredients:

2 lb fresh pork blood--drained and keep in the fridge until ready
1/2 lb ground pork
1.5 cups ngo om, chopped
1.5 cups rau ram, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 ts fine shrimp paste
1/2 tbs ground pepper
5 ft of cleaned hog casing, rinsed and soak in cold water for 30 min
large food only funnel and a chopstick

Directions:

Drain the hog casing and double tie a knot on one end, set aside. At the same time, heat a large 4-6 qt pot filled half way with water.

In large mixing bowl, combine pork blood, ground pork, ngo om, rau ram, pepper and shrimp paste. Using your hands and working quickly, break and combine until well mixed. The mixture does not need to be finely minced--just well incorporated to make sure there are no large chunks of blood.

Slide the open end of the hog casing on to the tip of the funnel. Holding both the casing and funnel together, add the pork blood mixture, about 1 cup at a time. Use a chopstick to push the contents down the funnel and gravity will do the rest. Continue until casing is filled and firm. Make sure there are no big air gaps and double tie the end and snip off any unused casing.

Making links are optional. To make links, it's helpful to have a second pair of hands to hold one end stable. Take about 6-8 inch lengths and twist at least three times and repeat for additional links.

When the pot of water boils, carefully add the blood sausage. It's crucial that you do not leave the sausages unattended as the sausage expands during cooking and may burst if left unattended. About 7-8 minutes into the boil, you must decompress the sausage. Using a ladle or soft tongs, lift the links towards the water surface and with a clean toothpick or a new safety pin, pierce each link in several spots. Try to pierce the links just beneath the water surface or the sides of the link because a small amount of blood may squirt out and you don't want it to squirt on you. Don't worry, the tiny holes will seal off. Cook for about 25 minutes total.

This is our entry to Delicious Vietnam, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine created by Anh of A Food Lovers Journey and yours truly! This month’s host is Nina of  Miss.Adventures@Home blog. Submissions can be sent to her by Nov 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm pacific time via Miss.Adventure[at]live[dot]com For instructions on how you can participate, visit Delicious Vietnam information page.

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