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ISO Lao Sausage links for cooking at home

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I hear that the market next to the That Luang Restaurant in San Pablo is closed. Since I used to pick up a couple of packs of sausage after a tasty meal at That Luang for bbqs and cooking at home, I now need a new source for links of Laotian sausage. Any one got any leads?

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  1. The Khmer and Lao grocery stores in Oakland.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/631508

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    Lao Market
    1619 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

    Sontepheap Market
    1400 14th Ave, Oakland, CA

    1. I keep hoping that Boccalone will come out with a Lao sour sausage. The factory is on the same block as Black and Silver Lao Food and Burger... seems like a great opportunity for cross-pollination...

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      Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
      1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

      2 Replies
      1. re: daveena

        Hehe that would be very interesting to see indeed. =)

        1. re: daveena

          I don't think Boccalone's set up for that. Lao sausage is fresh, not cured. It would have to be frozen for distribution.

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          Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
          1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

        2. I've seen frozen Lao sausages at Sun Hop Fat 1 on 12th St. in Oakland. They're in the frozen seafood area.

          11 Replies
          1. re: kclb

            Really? I'm surprised because isn't Sun Hop Fat 1 a Chinese market?

            Lao, Thai, and Khmer markets typically sell frozen Lao sausages, but I've never seen them available at a Chinese market before.

            Anyway, Mekong Market (Houa Khong) by the Grocery Outlet in San Pablo sells Lao sausages too.

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            Houa Khong (Mekong) Market
            2049 23rd St, San Pablo, CA

            1. re: yummyrice

              I was surprised when I saw it as well, but yes, they do have frozen Lao sausages there. Sun Hop Fat may be a Chinese market, but they do carry a lot of stuff from Southeast Asia as well.

              1. re: yummyrice

                There is a fairly large Southeast Asian community in the Eastlake neighborhood.

                1. re: chefj

                  Now it makes sense why Sun Hop Fat sells Lao sausages. Are the prices reasonable at that market? Or are the Lao sausages cheaper at a typical Lao, Thai, or Khmer market? I'm just curious because some of my friends live in that area and would like to pick up some frozen ones. I usually would recommend a Lao market because common sense dictates that a native food item would be cheaper when purchased directly from a Lao market, but then again Sun Hop Fat is probably a big market and therefore should be able to offer a better deal on the Lao sausages.

                  1. re: yummyrice

                    I didn't buy them, so I don't remember the prices, sorry.

                    1. re: yummyrice

                      This thread piqued my interest so I stopped in Sun Hop Fat today to pick up a package of sausages - the smallest package I could find was 3 lbs, for $12.

                      1. re: daveena

                        About how many links were in that package?

                        1. re: yummyrice

                          7 links, each about a foot long.

                          1. re: daveena

                            Thanks. At Lao markets they're only about $1 per link. =)

                            1. re: yummyrice

                              I take that back. I shouldn't have based the price on the number of links because there isn't a standard link size. Therefore, if comparing the price per pound, the Lao sausages sold at Sun Hop Fat 1 are roughly the same price or slightly cheaper than the ones sold at Lao markets.

                              1. re: yummyrice

                                Went back for more and found smaller packages - 3 links for $3.99. They have two brands - "Hmong brand" and "Laotian Brand". We preferred "Laotian Brand"'s more prominent spice and lemongrass, but both were good. Both contain MSG, if that's a concern to anyone.

                                Thanks to this thread, Lao sausages have now become my summer bbq staple. I especially like them grilled in fig leaves. One of my friends can't stand lettuce, so I started wrapping them in rice rolls (also available at Sun Hop Fat 1) - I can pack a lot more herbs in with the rice rolls, so I might just keep doing that from now on. I'm a big fan of the 99 cent packages of herbs, too - picked up culantro and rau om (rice paddy herb)... I'd never seen or tasted rau om before. Its lemony-cuminish flavor works really well in a spicy red cabbage slaw.

                                Anyway, thanks to everyone who pointed the way to Sun Hop Fat. Compared to the shops in Oakland Chinatown, it has way more SE Asian stuff, and a much larger frozen food section. Overall produce selection is less strong, but it's going to be my first stop the next time I'm looking for SE Asian products.

              2. San Pablo Supermarket ("International") now carries frozen Lao sausages. The Lao sausages are currently one of the big promotional items in the store with a sign indicating "SPECIAL: Dragonfly Brand - Lao Sausage $10.99. Reg. $11.99". I saw them in the main aisle of the fresh meat section, but of course they were in the bin freezer.

                3 Replies
                1. re: yummyrice

                  San Pablo Supermarket

                  1188 International Market Pl
                  San Pablo, CA 94806

                  1. re: yummyrice

                    Came here to say I saw them there today.

                    1. re: Scrapironchef

                      The last time I went there, the store had run out of them. The only ones they had were the Lao sour sausages (without casing) called Som Moo or Nam, which are typically used as an ingredient in Nam Khao. The store offers both types of Lao sausages in the bin freezer with the Lao sour sausages without casing ("Nam" / "Som Moo") on the left and the regular Lao sausages with casing ("Sai Oua") to the right of it.

                      Regarding the regular Lao sausages, two of the most popular brands are Lily and Dragonfly and they both offer mild and spicy versions. I much prefer spicy Lao sausages because they're just more interesting to me than the mild ones. Between those two popular brands, I think the Lily brand sausages taste better, but the Dragonfly brand is an okay substitute.

                      I've found a website that offers both popular brands of Lao sausages:
                      http://www.ustrading.com/en/products/...

                      This one is my favorite for a factory-made sausage:
                      http://www.ustrading.com/en/products/...

                2. Lao sausage sold to take home at Vientian Café in Oakland.

                  3801 Allendale Ave
                  (between 39th Ave & 38th Ave)
                  Oakland, CA 94619

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Mission

                    The most recent Lao sausage - it's frozen - I bought at Ventian was REALLY spicy, so you might ask if they have a mild version.

                    I have also bought fresh, not frozen, Lao sausage a couple of times from 4505 meats (one time it was a bit too salty), so you can check with them to see if they have any.

                    1. re: foodeye

                      That makes sense, foodeye, as the eat-in sausage varies fairly significantly from visit to visit also. Pretty sure they just have the one option, though, as one of our DCs bought a whack to take home on our visit in November (which I still have to write up, argh!).

                      1. re: grayelf

                        I honestly can't remember from one time to the next if there has been any flavor difference to the Lao sausage we've bought to take home from Vientian - all I know is we really like them! They are a bit spicy but just enough to make them interesting, IMO that is...

                      2. re: foodeye

                        last time I was there, the gentleman next to me said the sausage was too spicy and the chef (who came out to chat) said they had a mild version and offered to change it.

                        1. re: drewskiSF

                          That makes sense. When Lao sausages were first introduced to the Bay Area, many Lao restaurants used to serve store-bought Lao sausages, which was why the sausages used to pretty much taste the same regardless of the restaurant. However, now that Lao sausages have become more popular, those restaurants are now making their own Lao sausages, which means they're now able to offer variations such as mild or spicy resulting in each restaurant having its own style of Lao sausages. Some restaurants use less herbs in their sausages, whereas others use a lot of herbs and spices. I prefer the latter.

                      3. re: Mission

                        I’ve gotten locally made Lao sausage at Green Papaya Deli and at Vientian Café and frozen Lao sausage from Rhode Island at That Luang Kitchen in San Pablo.

                        I have no idea which ones are closest to what you would get in Laos but I preferred the two locally made ones. I’m pretty sure VC make their own. They sell it frozen in plastic bags with no markings. I don’t think GPD makes their own, since last time I was there I ordered some to go and the lady left with an empty pot and came back in a few minutes with the pot full of fresh sausage which she showed me with a smile as she came in the door. I assumed she bought it from some place nearby but maybe they make it themselves at another location. I froze it as soon as I got home. The VC sausage is thicker in diameter than the GPD sausage and both are moderately spicy.

                        At the restaurants I had the impression the GPD version was a little better. I tried them side by side and after the first couple of bites preferred the VC one, but then I hit a chunky spicy part of the GPD sausage which was really excellent and tastier than any part of the VC one. The VC sausage was more consistent and the GPD sausage varied more from bite to bite, but they’re both great. I just wish I didn’t have to drive so far and cross a bridge to pick up some more.