There are so many ways fried rice could be made delicious but fried rice with Chinese sausage is one way you shouldn’t pass out on. The Chinese sausage brings its umami flavor to the table and that’s just awesome.
It is a really fast dish to make, doesn’t take more than twenty-five minutes to prepare the ingredients and cook with your leftover rice of course which makes for tastier food. However, it will take you way more time than that if you have to make your rice first.
So if you’ve had a really long and tiring day, and eating junk doesn’t count as an option for dinner, then bring out the leftover rice and any veggie you can find from the fridge and prepare to eat something really nice.
What is Chinese Sausage and How is it Made?
Chinese sausage is an umbrella word that covers the different types of sausages in China, these variations depends on the region. Although there are several variations of the Chinese style sausage, the term Chinese sausage is now commonly used to refer to the Cantonese lap cheong (广式腊肠), the Guangdong region version of it.
The Guangdong sausage is the most popular of these sausages. The Sichuan sausage also attracts a good crowd due to its spiciness and so does the Hunan version. Back to the Guangdong type, it is sweet and has a smoky flavor most times.
Most times, because it isn’t smoked at all times, some persons air-dry the lap cheong.
As you now know, Chinese sausage refers to the Cantonese lap cheong. It is also spelt as lap ceung or lap chong. Lap cheong can easily be purchased in Chinese supermarkets or in the general Asian shops or better still, you can make yours right there in your kitchen.
The sausage is made from pork that has been seasoned with rice wine, light soy sauce and other ingredients. It contains a high fat content and the very flavorful fat when extracted in liquid form can be used in stir-frying.There are 2 methods of making this Chinese sausage, they are:
- Smoking: Traditionally, it is made by smoking, this gives it its smoky flavor.
- Air drying: This method leaves the links of sausages in the open to dry out.
These days, more and more persons are preferring to air-dry instead of smoking the sausages because the air-cured method of making sausages are a much healthier option than the smoking option.
As for the taste, they taste almost the same – they obviously can’t taste the same, the air-cured sausage will lack the smoky flavor and that’s just all there is as far as differences go.
To make your homemade Cantonese sausages, you’ll need pork meat with lean meat of 80 percent while fat is just 20 percent, sausage skin (either natural or synthetic), curing salt, ground white pepper, smashed rock sugar, rose wine or Chinese white spirit, and light soy sauce.
Other tools that will be needed are a needle, a sausage stuffing tool, cotton lines (needed to tie the sausages), scissors and a clean dry clothes.
After lining up everything that you need, wash and cut the pork into thin large slices in a bowl large enough to hold the pork, pour the rose wine over it and mix thoroughly with hands, then add curing salt, ground white pepper, smashed rock sugar, light soy sauce and mix with your hands again, thoroughly.
After mixing, leave the mixture for 30 minutes, that’s enough time to get the ingredients befriending the pork. Then wear the stuffing tool your already warm water soaked sausage skin and stuff the skin with the meat.
Don’t forget to tie the end of the skin before stuffing.
Done with the stuffing, use the cotton line to tie up the stuffed meat into smaller sections, cut the excess line with the scissors. Then dip the cloth in warm water before cleaning them with it.
And finally, leave to dry after using the needle to prick the sausage, this is to remove any air that has been trapped there before. Drying would take days, so don’t be in a haste to start cooking with them. Alternatively, you could smoke them.
However, you can ditch the whole homemaking procedure and just purchase them at an Asian shop. So how do you cook Chinese sausage? Pretty simple and we’re getting down to it now.
How To Cook Chinese Sausage
There are only a few ways you can cook them but in all fairness, these few ways are enough. They are:
- Steaming: this is by far one of the commonest ways you can cook it. Most persons steam theirs in a rice cooker either with rice or without rice. Steaming the Chinese style pork sausages will greatly reduce hardness and soften them up. You can steam using a steamer basket or just place the links in a plate that has been heat proofed, cover the heatproof plate and allow to steam. Steaming in a heatproof plate or steaming in a rice cooker without rice should take nothing more than 30 minutes tops.
If however, you do not intend to cook the links on their own, cooking with rice is definitely a top choice. The links could be cooked alongside with rice either at the beginning while cooking the rice or at the end (about 15 minutes shy from the rice being done).
Cook whole if you’re adding them at the beginning, afterwards, you can cut into thin slices and serve with the rice. But if you want to put them in the rice at the end of the rice cooking time, then it’s advisable you cut them up first.
While steaming alone is very much possible, it’s actually better to steam along with rice because the sweet flavorful fat from the Chinese sausage will get infused into the rice. Hence, you have a delicious plate of fat flavored rice with slices of sweet savory sausages. Enough of steaming, let’s move ahead!
- Stir-frying: Another equally very common how of cooking these pork sausages is stir-frying. They can be stir-fried to become crispy with many different types of vegetables and spices. Veggies such as Napa cabbage (or Chinese leaves as you may know them as), snow peas, bok choy and spices like garlic, peppers can be stir-fried along with it.
To stir-fry, add a little of any oil of your choice in a wok or saute pan and pour in the chopped sausage, veggies and spice. Due to the high fatty content of the sausage, you can choose to ditch the extra oil and saute them till crispy and heated through.
Just chop into sizeable chunks and put them in the wok over medium heat. In about five minutes time, the fat (now, liquefied) would have oozed out from the sausage. You could then go ahead and use this oil to stir-fry your veggies, this will taste better than stir-frying with any other kind of oil.
- Stewing: Another way you could cook it is by placing the links in simmering water. Leave till the fat from the sausage gets to the top of the water, that should take 10 to 15 minutes. Simmering these in soups or stews will give your dish a nice smell and sweet savory flavor when the fat/oil infuses into the broth.
- Baking: A bit strange but so possible. Dice them up and bake in casserole. You can also bake after sauteing briefly.
That brings us to a wrap on how to cook these really hard smoked or air-cured sausages. Now, it’s time I introduce you to the fried rice with chinese sausage recipe. You’re going to love it but before that …
4 Ways To Make Your Pork Sausage Fried Rice The Best
Before making any meal, I like to get all the facts first. No one likes to get any surprises after they’ve started cooking. They don’t like to know that stir-frying a particular ingredient is better than steaming it after they’ve already steamed it. That’s just wrong and that’s why this section feels right.
- The rice: Overnight rice or fresh rice? Overnight rice is the preferred choice for many. Many persons even think it’s not possible for freshly cooked rice to taste just as good as your overnight rice will. First off, overnight rice do not refer to rice that was soaked overnight, it simply means that the rice was cooked the previous day and then was refrigerated once cooled.
This rice is better because it has reduced water (moisture) content and when made as fried rice, the rice will not be soggy or clumpy. Do not use leftover rice if it was overcooked to a sticky or non firm texture. Remember, your leftover rice must be refrigerated to dry out the moisture and when about to use, bring out and add a little water before you gently use a fork to loosen the grains.
Why not fresh rice? It sticks, using your fresh rice like that will make your fried rice sticky because of the high moisture content. But it can be used if you follow some tips.
First, use long grains rice such as jasmine or basmati rice. Then reduce the amount of water you’d use to boil the rice. Once done, spread into a baking sheet or a flat plate, do not cover and allow the moisture to evaporate. Some persons go an extra step by refrigerating for about 15 minutes.
- Sauce: Use a good sauce that’ll bring a rich flavor to the dish. Fish sauce is a pretty good option once you get past the pungent smell (which is absent after being cooked), you’d be interested in the sweet and salty flavor it had to offer. Another good sauce option is the oyster sauce.
- Sausage: There’s nothing more to say on this. It’s Chinese Sausage this time or you could use Taiwanese sausage but that will make Taiwanese sausage fried rice, not Chinese Sausage fried rice.
- High heat stir-frying: High heat is the best way to stir-fry the rice. If the wok is hot enough, every grain of rice gets the chance of being heated as long as you stir well enough. The high heat will also further dry the rice, if there was any moisture left, it will get dried up.
Finally, the recipe comes…
Fried Rice and Chinese Sausage Recipe
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil.
- 4 cups cooked rice.
- 1 stalk spring onions, chopped.
- Carrots, diced.
- 2 Chinese sausages, should be thinly sliced.
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce.
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, for a very light brown color.
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste.
- A pinch of white pepper, or to taste.
- Salt, to taste.
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten.
- Place a wok over medium heat and add the cooking oil. Add the Chinese sausage and stir for about a minute or so.
- Then add the eggs. Allow to cook lightly before breaking it up. Stir and then pour in your veggies – onion, peas, carrots and stir.
- Add the rice and stir thoroughly. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. If you can toss the rice, then toss else just stir constantly over high heat and remove from heat.
Serve and eat with chopsticks.
Leftover pork sausage fried rice can be stored in the fridge. Cover and keep in fridge and when ready to eat, microwave with a little bit of water (a teaspoon) drizzled over the fried rice.
This Chinese style fried rice with Chinese Sausage is a nice way to clean out the fridge. You can toss in some deep fried salted fish into this dish too. Kimchi, hum ha (shrimp paste), char siu, marinated crab are equally good choices to add to this meal. It’s time to cook!!!