ไส้อั่ว (Sai ua, full name ไส้อั่วสมุนไพร), the ubiquitous sausage of Northern Thailand. So much so that Sai ua actually means stuffed intestine, or sausage if you will. Moderately spicy, inoculated with hunks of pork fat, and intensely herbaceous, this sausage is a great representation of what Chaing Mai has to offer. Not unlike Khao Soi it’s nearly impossible to get good Sai Ua outside of Chaing Mai. So much so that if you make a trip from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and don’t bring your friends a few vacuumed sealed coils of meat you might lose some friends. The same goes for Krispy Kremes if the flights are reversed.

To me there is two types of Sai ua, bad Sai ua (which is a sin against all that is holy) and good Sai ua. It’s kind of like bread in that the person making it determines how good it is, not so much what ingredients are used as most Sai ua follows roughly the same recipe… roughly.

Pictured here is my favorite Sai ua as it is good balance between fatty and herbal. It’s from a roadside shop that Gordon Ramsey actually visited to learn about the famous Northern sausage, during one of his 9673 shows.

For those of you who want friends when you get back to Bangkok, they have travel ready sai ua at Mae Hia Fresh Market and Ton Phayom Market.

Sai ua stand

Open: roughly 13:00-19:00

Mae Hia Fresh Market

Open: 4:00-12:00

Ton Phayom Market

Open: 6:00-20:00

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The Good Stuff Chiang Mai

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