Chinese sausage fried rice brings a wonderful umami flavor to the table. There are so many ways fried rice could be made delicious, but fried rice with Chinese sausage is one way you shouldn’t pass on.
It is a really fast dish to make—it doesn’t take more than twenty-five minutes to prepare the ingredients and cook together with your leftover rice, which of course makes for tastier food. However, it will take a lot longer than that to prepare if you have to make the rice first.
So if you’ve had a really long and tiring day, and eating junk for dinner isn’t an option for you, then bring out the leftover rice and any veggie you can find from the fridge and get ready to eat something really nice.
What is Chinese Sausage and How is it Made?
Chinese sausage is an umbrella term that covers a few different types of sausages in China. These variations depend 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), or the Guangdong region version of the meat.
The Guangdong sausage is the most popular of these sausages, though the Sichuan sausage also attracts a good crowd due to its spiciness, as well as the Hunan version. Back to the Guangdong type—it is sweet and has a smoky flavor most of the time.
Because it isn’t always smoked, some people choose to air-dry the lap cheong.
As you now know, Chinese sausage typically refers to the Cantonese lap cheong. It is also spelled as lap ceung or lap chong. Lap cheong can easily be purchased in Chinese supermarkets or in the general Asian food shops, or better still, you can make yours right here 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 fat is very flavorful when extracted in liquid form to be used in stir-frying. There are 2 methods of making this Chinese sausage. They are:
- Smoking: Traditionally, this sausage is made by smoking, giving it its smoky flavor.
- Air drying: This method leaves the links of sausages in the open to dry out.
These days, more and more people are moving over to the air-dry method instead of smoking the sausages because the air-cured method of making sausages is a much healthier option than smoking.
As for the taste, both versions taste almost the same. Of course, they can’t taste exactly the same, since the air-cured sausage will lack the smoky flavor—but that’s just all there is as far as differences go.
To make your homemade Cantonese sausages, you’ll need pork meat with 80% lean meat and 20% fat, 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 cloth.
After lining up everything that you need, wash and cut the pork into long, thin slices, placing the slices in a bowl large enough to hold all the pork. Pour the rose wine over these and rub in the rose wine with your hands, then add curing salt, ground white pepper, smashed rock sugar, and light soy sauce, again mixing everything into the meat with your hands.
After blending the ingredients, leave the mixture for 30 minutes—that’s enough time to let the flavors sink into the pork. After your sausage skin has been soaked in warm water, use the stuffing tool to stuff the skins with the meat.
Don’t forget to tie the bottom end of the skin before stuffing!
Once done with the stuffing, use the cotton line to tie up the stuffed meat into smaller sections and cut the excess line with scissors. Dip your clean cloth in warm water before cleaning the sausage links with it.
Finally, use the needle to prick the sausage. This is to remove any air that has been trapped inside. Drying will take a few days if you choose to do this method. Alternatively, you could smoke them.
There’s also the third option—ditching the whole homemaking procedure and just purchasing the sausage at an Asian food shop. So once you’ve procured the meat, how do you cook Chinese sausage?
How To Cook Chinese Sausage
There are only a few ways you can cook Chinese sausage, but in all fairness, these few ways are enough. They are:
- Steaming: This is by far one of the most common ways to cook it. Most people steam theirs in a rice cooker with or without rice. Steaming the Chinese style pork sausages will naturally soften them up. You can use a steamer basket, or just place the links on a plate that has been heat-proofed, cover the heatproof plate, and allow to steam. Steaming on a heatproof plate or steaming in a rice cooker without rice should take no more than 30 minutes, tops.
If, however, you don’t intend to cook the links on their own, cooking them with rice is definitely a top choice. The links can be cooked alongside rice either at the beginning of the rice-cooking process or the end (about 15 minutes shy from the rice being done).
Cook the links whole if you’re adding them at the beginning. If you plan to add them in the end, I would advise cutting them into thin slices so they cook through. This will also serve nicely with the rice.
While steaming them alone is possible, it’s actually better to steam them 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 flavorful rice with slices of sweet, savory sausages. Enough with steaming now, let’s move on ahead!
- Stir-frying: Another, equally common method 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), snow peas, and bok choy, as well as spices like garlic and pepper, can be stir-fried along with the meat.
To stir-fry, add a little oil of your choice in a wok or saute pan and pour in the chopped sausage, veggies, and spice. Due to the high fat content of the sausage, you can choose to ditch the extra oil and just saute them until crispy and heated through.
Chop the sausage into sizeable chunks and put it in the wok over medium heat. In about five minutes’ time, the fat (now liquefied) will have oozed out from the sausage. You can then go ahead and use this oil to stir-fry your veggies, which will taste even better than stir-frying with another kind of oil.
- Stewing: Another way you can cook the sausage it is by placing the links in simmering water. Leave it until the fat from the sausage gets to the top of the water, which 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 oil infuses into the broth.
- Baking: A bit strange-sounding, but it is also possible. Dice up the sausage links and bake them in a casserole. You can also bake them after sauteing briefly.
That’s a wrap on how to cook these 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 we get to that …
4 Ways To Make Your Pork Sausage Fried Rice The Best
No one likes surprises after they’ve started cooking. For example, I wouldn’t want to find out that stir-frying a particular ingredient is better than steaming it once I’ve already steamed it. That’s why this section feels necessary.
- The rice: Overnight or fresh? Overnight rice is the preferred choice. Many even argue it’s not possible for freshly cooked rice to taste as good as your overnight rice will. First off, overnight rice does not refer to rice that was soaked overnight; it simply means that the rice was cooked the previous day and refrigerated for later.
This rice is apparently better because it has reduced water (moisture) content and when made into fried rice, it won’t be soggy or clumpy. Don’t 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. When you’re about to use it, add a little water and gently use a fork to loosen the grains.
Why not fresh rice? Well, it sticks, so using fresh rice could make your fried rice sticky too because of the high moisture content. But you can choose to use it if you follow some tips:
First, use long-grain rice such as jasmine or basmati. Reduce the amount of water you use to boil the rice. Once it’s boiled, spread it onto a baking sheet or a flat plate, do not cover, and allow the moisture to evaporate. Some people go the extra mile by refrigerating the rice for about 15 minutes.
- Sauce: Use a good sauce that will 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). Another good sauce option is oyster sauce.
- Sausage: You can use the Chinese Sausage this or opt for an alternative like 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. The high heat will also further dry the rice, so if there was any moisture left, it will get dried up.
Fried Rice and Chinese Sausage Recipe
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil.
- 4 cups cooked rice.
- 1 stalk spring onions, chopped.
- Carrots, diced.
- 2 Chinese sausages, thinly sliced.
- 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce, for a very light brown color.
- 2 tablespoons of 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.
- Now add the eggs. Allow these to cook lightly before breaking them up. Stir, then pour in your veggies—onion, peas, and carrots—stirring again when done.
- Add the rice and combine everything thoroughly. You can now add the remaining ingredients and stir in those too. Toss the rice if you can do it without making a mess, otherwise, just stir constantly over high heat. Remove from heat when the rice looks well mixed and warmed through.
Serve and eat with chopsticks.
Leftover pork sausage fried rice can be stored in the fridge. Cover and keep it in the fridge, and when you’re ready to eat, microwave it with a little bit of water (about a teaspoon) drizzled over the fried rice.
This Chinese style fried rice with Chinese Sausage is a nice way to clean out expiring ingredients from the fridge. You can toss in some deep-fried salted fish into this dish too. Kimchi, hum ha (shrimp paste), char siu, or marinated crab are equally good choices to add to this meal. It’s time to cook!