Chinese sausages, also known as Lap Cheong, are a type of cured sausage that is popular in many parts of Asia. They are made with fresh pork, pork fat, livers, and sometimes chicken, and tend to have a sweet and salty flavor with a rich, dense, emulsified texture. Pork is the most common meat used in Chinese sausages, but other meats such as beef, chicken, duck or lamb can also be added. Pork liver or duck liver are often added to liver sausages.
It is believed that Chinese people have been making sausages for over 2000 years and some of the techniques used today date back to the 5th century.The Chinese name for sausages is “Lap Cheong”, which means “winter filled intestine” or “waxed intestine” because “cheong” not only means “intestine”, but also “sausage”. This sausage is normally dried in air or over low heat. Sausage is used as an ingredient in many dishes in parts of southern China, such as Hong Kong and Southeast Asian countries. It is used in fried rice dishes, noodles and other dishes.As in other countries, there is no universally followed sausage recipe, but each region of the country develops its own variation, even though the name remains the same.
The condiments are added to provide a sweet flavor to the meat that is unique to sausages made in other parts of the world. Chinese sausage formulations are unique, based on a long tradition. Ingredients such as soy sauce and sugar are added to sausages at very high levels. Chinese rice wines, distilled spirits, or even whiskey or sherry are commonly added to sausages.Traditional Chinese recipes, similar to Italian recipes for salamis, have been passed down from generation to generation without much understanding of the underlying processes.
They are the result of errors and testing procedures; however, they are modified today to comply with the safety regulations of the China Meat Safety Department. Sausages are consumed all year round, but their consumption is highest in February during the Chinese New Year.Approximately 6 inches long, Chinese sausage is darker and thinner than Western sausages. The most common variety is made with pork and pork fat, but you'll also find other varieties made with duck liver or even beef. Manufacturers are also starting to offer varieties reduced in fat and sodium; however, in the West it is currently easier to find standard pork sausages.Chinese sausage complements rice and vegetable dishes very well.
The easiest way to cook sausage is to add it to steamed rice (see How to Cook Chinese Sausages for more information). Chinese sausages are generally available in Asian supermarkets outside of Asia, mostly vacuum-packed, although some Chinese grocery stores also sell the varieties unpackaged.It is generally accepted that the Maillard reaction contributes to the development of flavor and aroma in Chinese sausages. They are usually made locally; for example many of the Chinese sausages sold in Canada are produced by several manufacturers based in Vancouver and Toronto.It is the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that is regularly used in Chinese cuisine that gives lap cheong its special flavor, and also to baijiu, a rice brandy. The confusion comes from different Chinese dialects; in the Cantonese dialect (the southern provinces) the sausage is known as Lap Cheong, but in the Mandarin dialect (the northern provinces) the sausage is known as La Chang.The Chinese use an ingenious way of marking the grades and quality of their sausages by using hanging cords of different colors.
Lap cheong () are Chinese pork sausages with a sweet and salty flavor and a beautiful reddish pink color.In conclusion, Chinese sausage is a type of cured sausage that has been around for centuries. It is made with fresh pork, pork fat, livers and sometimes chicken. Pork makes up most of these sausages but other meats such as beef, chicken or duck can be added as well. It has a sweet and salty flavor with a rich texture and it's usually dried in air or over low heat.
It's used as an ingredient in many dishes throughout southern China and Hong Kong.