Chinese sausages, also known as lap cheong or lop chong, are a staple ingredient in many Chinese dishes. These sausages are often made from pork and have a distinct sweet and savory flavor that is not found in other types of sausage. Chinese sausages have been around for centuries and have been used in many traditional dishes in both China and other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Cooking Chinese Sausages
There are two main types of Chinese sausages: fresh and dried. Fresh Chinese sausages are usually sold uncured and need to be cooked before eating. Dried Chinese sausages can be eaten raw but are typically cooked when used in dishes.
Fresh vs. Dried Chinese Sausages
Fresh Chinese sausages require cooking to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present in the meat. They should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). You can cook fresh Chinese sausages by boiling, steaming, grilling, or pan-frying them.
Dried Chinese sausages do not require cooking but can be added to dishes that will be cooked such as stir-fries or fried rice. If you plan to eat the dried sausage by itself, it’s best to boil or steam it for a few minutes so that it becomes soft and plump.
Sweet vs. Savory Chinese Sausages
Sweet Chinese sausages contain sugar which gives them a caramelized taste while savory ones rely more on spices like garlic and ginger for flavoring.
Why Some People Don’t Cook Them
Some people believe that uncooked/dried Chinese sausages bring good luck during festivals like the Lunar New Year if offered as an offering or gift to revered ancestors as an offering on altars due to cultural beliefs. However, there are risks associated with consuming raw meats.
Risks Associated with Not Cooking Them
Consuming raw meats, such as uncooked Chinese sausages, can lead to foodborne illnesses such as salmonella or E. coli infections. These types of bacteria can cause symptoms such as abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is important to ensure that your kitchen utensils and surfaces are clean when handling raw meats and to store them at the appropriate temperatures to prevent bacterial growth.
Health Benefits of Cooking Them
Cooking Chinese sausages helps to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses but also adds nutritional value. When cooked, they release fat which makes them less greasy and better for digestion. This also means that their calorie count is lower compared to eating them raw or dried.
Quick and Easy Recipes for Cooking Chinese Sausages
Make these easy dishes using Chinese sausages in minutes!
1) Pan-fried: crispy outside, juicy inside.
- 5 fresh Chinese sausages
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Spring onions (optional)
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Add the Chinese sausages and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.
- Garnish with sliced spring onions if desired
2) Steamed: soft texture, tender and flavorful
- 2 dried Chinese sausages
- Sticky rice
- Bok choy
- Rinse rice several times until water runs clear then soak it in cold water overnight. Drain the water before cooking
- Rinse the bok choy with cold water then blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
- Rinse the dried sausages under running water then steam them for about 30 mins on high heat till soften
- Place rice in a pot or bamboo steamer, spreading it out in an even layer. Cut sausages into 1-2 cm pieces and put it on the rice.
- Steam the rice and sausage for about 25 minutes or until fully cooked.
Chinese sausages are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Fresh Chinese sausages should always be cooked to avoid any potential health risks while dried ones can be consumed raw or cooked. Cooking Chinese sausages also adds significant nutritional value including being less greasy when fat is released during cooking. So why not try out some of the quick and easy recipes mentioned above? Happy cooking!
Q: Can you eat Chinese sausages raw?
A: No, it is not recommended to eat Chinese sausages raw. They need to be cooked thoroughly before consumption as they contain raw pork and other ingredients that may cause illness if eaten uncooked.
Q: How do I cook Chinese sausages properly?
A: There are various ways to cook Chinese sausages, but most commonly, they are steamed or pan-fried. To steam, place the sausage in a steaming basket for 10-15 minutes until heated through. For pan-frying, slice the sausage diagonally and fry on medium heat until browned on both sides.
Q: What are some dishes that use Chinese sausages as an ingredient?
A: Chinese sausage is a common ingredient in many classic dishes such as clay pot rice, fried rice, and sticky rice dumplings (zongzi). It’s also used in other dishes like stir-fries and soups.
Q: Can you store uncooked Chinese sausage in the fridge or freezer for later use?
A: Yes, you can store uncooked Chinese sausage in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or frozen for up to six months. Remember to thaw them properly before cooking.