Cha lua or Gio lua is a versatile ‘sausage’ that occurs in many Vietnamese dishes. Not as a secondary ingredient, condiment or as a garnish, but as an important building block despite his gentle character. Like in the Banh mi sandwich, the Bun bo Hue noodle, the rice ravioli Banh cuon or Banh uot, and also as appetizer Cha lua is very welcome.

You can buy Cha lua in Asian supermarkets, usually in a roll of 500 grams. These ready-made sausages are very good of flavor, so I never make them myself. Fresh sausages are often made as a gift and given away by family and friends. Within the Vietnamese community a lot of food is donated back and forth to each other. A kind of exchange of expert craftsmanship and a token of appreciation and gratitude.

The main ingredients of Cha lua is pork and fish sauce. The sausage is preferably wrapped in banana leaves to release more flavor during the cooking process, but plastic wrap is less laborious and the sausage is better held together. Cha lua is multi-applicable and that makes me a big fan.