Making an appearance in everything from dim sum to stir-fry, Chinese sausages are an important element in Eastern cooking. Texturally comparable to pepperoni, these dry, hardened smoked sausages are typically made of pork meat punctuated with a goodly amount of fat. While there are a variety of Chinese sausages in existence, they share a savory sweetness, the result of heavy seasoning. Since Chinese sausages are pre-cooked, they make an easy addition to a variety of food preparations.
The high amount of fat in Chinese sausages make them a welcome addition to the skillet. Dice, slice or roughly chop Chinese sausages and briefly saute them over moderately high heat until heated through and crispy. Add sauteed Chinese sausages to fried rice or stir-fry, or substitute them in dishes they typically don't appear in such as spaghetti carbonara or a breakfast omelet for an Eastern twist. Saute the sausages alongside peppers, onions and mushrooms to lend additional flavors.
The texture of Chinese sausages can be too tough for successful incorporation into some dishes. Fortunately they can be softened by gentle steaming. Steam sausages in a steamer basket or on a rack above simmering water until plump and softened, approximately 15 minutes. Served steamed Chinese sausages on a bed of boiled broccoli or white rice, create a traditional banh mi sandwich or add an adventurous new twist to your average breakfast sandwich.
Chinese sausages make an aromatic addition to soups and stews. Simmering sausages releases their flavors into the broth, adding a sweet and savory complexity. Add Chinese sausages to traditional Japanese ramen, create a meaty mushroom soup or add interesting flavors to baked potato and lentil soups and stews.
Augment your average casserole by substituting or adding diced or sliced Chinese sausages. Dice the sausages up and bake them with potatoes, peppers and onions for a simple yet hearty dinner or create an Asian-inspired egg bake for brunch. The sausages can be briefly sauteed before baking to crisp them up a bit or simply added to the dish.
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Asian Foods: Science and Technology; Catharina Y.W. Ang, Keshun Liu and Yao-Wen Huang
- Serious Eats: Seriously Asian: Chinese Sausage
Christina Kalinowski is a writer from the Twin Cities who began her career in 2011. She contributes food and drink related articles to The Daily Meal. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from Purdue University.