What is Chinese Sausage Casing Made Of?

The most popular sausage casings are made with the clean intestines of animals, especially pigs, sheep and cattle. These are known as “natural guts” and the most common is the 32-34 mm pork belly. Dry sausage is usually made with a combination of pork, veal, lard, sugar and spices. Artificial sausage casings may be made of materials such as collagen, cellulose and plastic and may not always be edible. Collagen guts have been around for a while and are produced from animal collagen, mainly from the skins of cows and pigs.

Bones and tendons may also be included, and guts can also be made from poultry and fish. Collagen casings are an economical option and are easier to use than natural casings, as they provide better control over the weight and size of the sausage. The Chinese Thai community uses it in several Chinese dishes, as well as in some Thai dishes such as Yam Kun Chiang, a Thai salad made with this sausage. Sichuan sausage also contains red chili powder, Sichuan pepper powder and Pixian bean sauce to give it a unique flavor. Singapore produces innovative Chinese sausages that are healthier than the traditional variety or varieties produced in Malaysia.

In Burmese, sausage is called kyet u gyaung (chicken sausage) or wet u gyaung (pork sausage). If you don't have access to natural or artificial casings, or you just don't want to use them but still want to make links for sausages, you can make guts out of muslin strips. The presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer commonly used in Chinese cuisine, gives lap cheong its special flavor, as well as baijiu, a rice brandy. Traditionally, it is a smoked, fermented, cured and highly seasoned sausage (usually with smoked paprika and chilli pepper) originally from Spain. I learned how to do it from my Chinese ex-wife who always cooked it by putting it on top of rice while it was steamed. It was first manufactured in March 1909 by Lithuanian personnel in a Russian-owned factory called the Churin Sausage Factory located in the Daoli district of Harbin.

In Suriname, Chinese sausage is known by a Chinese word hakka translated as fatjong, fachong, fa-chong, fashong or fasjong in colloquial spelling. While lap cheong sausages are easily found in Asian grocery stores, they are even better prepared at home. Taiwan also produces a similar form of sausage; however, they are rarely dried in the manner of Cantonese sausages. It's for a total of 10 pounds of meat (for 50 sausages), but obviously you can adjust the measurements with the slider bar (next to “Portions”). Lap cheong is often eaten during the Chinese New Year, with lap being the name of the winter sacrifice and the last month of the Chinese year. Currently there are two main types of collagen casings for sausages on the market: natural casings and artificial casings.

Traditionally pink sausages are filled in natural casings made from animal intestines; however artificial guts are also available on the market.

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