How to Cook Chinese Sausages in the Oven
Chinese sausages, also known as lap cheong, are a type of dried sausage commonly used in Asian cuisine. They are made from pork and seasoned with various herbs and spices. Chinese sausages can be prepared using a variety of cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, frying, or grilling. However, one of the easiest and most convenient ways to prepare Chinese sausages is by cooking them in the oven. In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to cook Chinese sausages in the oven.
Benefits of Cooking Chinese Sausages in the Oven
The oven is an excellent option for cooking Chinese sausages because it provides an even and consistent heat source. This means that your sausages will cook evenly and come out perfectly without any burn marks or uneven spots.
Cooking your Chinese sausages in the oven also frees up space on your stovetop, which can be helpful when preparing multiple dishes at once. Additionally, baking allows the sausages to retain their natural juices and flavors while cooking, resulting in a juicy and tender texture that is loved by many.
Preparing the Sausages
Choosing the right type of Chinese sausage
Before preparing your Chinese sausages, it is essential to choose the right type of sausage for your recipe. There are several varieties available with different levels of sweetness and spiciness. Some popular options include:
- Lap yuk – dried pork belly sausage
- Lap cheong – dried pork sausage
- Xue chang – blood sausage made from pig’s blood
- Yun chang – glutinous rice sausage
Each type of sausage can have its unique flavor, texture, and thickness. It is essential to choose the one that best fits your recipe requirements or desired taste.
Soaking the sausages in hot water
Soaking your sausages before baking is an essential step to ensure even and thorough cooking. The purpose of soaking the sausages is to remove any excess salt from the seasoning and soften the casing. To soak your Chinese sausages:
- Place the sausages in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
- This will help to remove excess salt and moisture from the sausage and help the outside cook quicker.
Drying the sausages
After soaking the sausages, remove them from water and dry them thoroughly before cooking. This step ensures even caramelization during baking and prevents moisture inside the sausage from steaming out during cooking.
Preheating and Setting up the Oven
It’s important to preheat your oven before baking for adequate cooking temperatures and consistent results. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C.
Choosing an appropriate baking dish
The right choice of baking dish affects how well your sausage fills out space, which can impact overall cooking time and consistency. An appropriate ceramic or glass dish will do well because they are ideal conductors of heat, distribute heat evenly throughout contents in the dish, and retain heat after removing from oven.
Placing the sausages into the baking dish
The next step is to place the soaked and dried Chinese sausages in an even layer in the baking dish. The sausages should have enough space to allow for even cooking. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan as it can lead to uneven cooking and longer baking times.
You can also add other ingredients such as sliced onions or potatoes, which will complement the flavors of the sausage and enhance your dish’s overall taste and texture.
Adding water or wine
For maintaining natural juices, adding liquid to the sausage also helps to prevent them from drying out during baking in the oven.
- Pour 1/2 cup of beer, white wine or broth over the sausages at least halfway through cooking time to keep them moist.
- The liquid used should be a flavorful choice that complements your recipe taste
- Frequent checks ensure that there is enough liquid without opening frequently
Oven Baking and Monitoring Time:
Bake your sausages in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. The exact baking time may depend on their size, casings, and density, so keep checking every couple of minutes until cooked through. Don’t forget to flip them halfway through the baking process to cook both sides evenly.
The internal temperature should read at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit when fully cooked.
Checking Readiness of Sausages
- You should look for crisp caramelization on outer layers, evenly browned all around when performing a visual check.
- If you have a food thermometer on hand, check it at its thickest point; it should read at least 160°F/70°C after cooking.
- Also, poke them with a fork and see if the juice coming out is clear, a good indication that they are ready.
Presentation, Serving, and Storing
- Gently remove Chinese sausages from the baking sheet before serving.
- You can garnish or serve them in layers with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, thinly sliced garlic or hot chili pepper for extra flavor and visual appeal.
Garnishing Suggestions for Serving
- Steamed white rice or fried rice
- Stir-fry or Sauteed Vegetables.
- Stewed Vegetables in White sauce
- Mushroom and vegetables stir-fry in oyster sauce
Best Accompaniments along with cooked Chinese sausages
The sausage pairs well with so many things—mushrooms, steamed white rice, simple sautéed vegetables such as bok choy or choy sum. Try any of these below:
How long they can last when stored properly and incorporating Cooked Sausage into a Dish or Meal
Cooked Chinese sausage will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if stored in an airtight container. The sausage freezes well too.
Cooked Chinese sausages pair well with just about any dish – from breakfast to dinner. They are an excellent filling for savory pancakes, omelets, stir-fries, fried rice or topped on stir-fired noodles. You can cut them into smaller pieces and mix them into your pasta salad. The possibilities are endless.
Tips and Tricks for Cooking Chinese Sausage in an Oven
- It’s best to use a thermometer to avoid overcooking, which can lead to less juicy and more rubbery sausage
- To enhance taste, you can marinate the sausage in your favorite marinade overnight before cooking or cook them over hardwood charcoal for that smoky flavor.
Cooking Chinese sausages in the oven is an easy and convenient way to prepare these flavorful sausages. Whether you are preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner, or appetizers, cooked Chinese sausages can be incorporated into numerous cuisines.
By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you will achieve perfectly cooked Chinese sausages with a crispy outside and juicy inside. So go ahead; use this guide to add this tasty ingredient from your kitchen from time to time!
#### How long should I cook Chinese sausages in the oven?
Chinese sausages can vary in size, so cooking times may differ. As a general rule, it is recommended to cook Chinese sausages in the oven at 350°F for around 20-25 minutes. However, if you have larger or smaller sausages, adjust your cooking time accordingly.
#### Do I need to preheat the oven before cooking Chinese sausages?
Yes, you should always preheat your oven before cooking Chinese sausages. This will ensure that the sausages cook evenly and reach their optimal temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F and allow it to fully reach this temperature before placing the sausages inside.
#### Can I add other ingredients when cooking Chinese sausages in the oven?
Absolutely! Cooking Chinese sausages in the oven provides ample opportunity for creative experimentation. You can try adding vegetables like bell peppers or onions, or seasonings like soy sauce or ginger. Just make sure any additional ingredients don’t overpower the flavor of the sausage.
#### How do I know when Chinese sausages are fully cooked?
The easiest way to determine if Chinese sausages are fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the sausage without touching the bone and ensure it reads at least 160°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into one of the sausages – it should be browned and not pink on the inside.