How to Cook Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong)

One of the first questions that arises when the topic turns to Chinese sausage (Lap Cheong) is how to cook it. The best way to bring out the flavor of these seasoned preserved sausages, made with diced pork, pork liver, duck liver, or occasionally even beef, is to cook the sausage in a way that removes fat. This is particularly true of pork sausages, which are the easiest type to find in Asian markets in North America.


The most common way to cook Chinese sausage is by Steaming. The simplest way to steam the sausage is to slice it up and place it on top of rice for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Not only is this method convenient - there’s only one pot to wash up afterward - but the sausage nicely flavors the rice.


To steam Chinese sausages on nights when you’re not cooking rice, place them on a heatproof plate and steam, covered, over boiling water for 15 minutes, or until they are translucent.

What About Stir-frying?

There’s no question that adding 1 or 2 pieces of sliced Chinese sausage is a great way to add extra flavor to stir-fries. The question is whether you should simply add Chinese sausages to stir-fry dishes, or cook it first to render out the fat. Some people find the fat bothersome; on the other hand, fat disperses flavor in a dish. Usually, I prefer either steaming the Chinese sausage (instructions above) or quickly blanching it in boiling water for about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes until it turns translucent before adding it to stir-fries. (You can also cook the sausage in simmering water for about 12 minutes, until the fat rises to the top).

One exception is fried rice, where I add a small amount of uncooked chopped or diced sausage and let the fat flavor the dish. However, it really comes down to personal preference.

When to Add Chinese Sausage

In general, Chinese sausage pairs nicely with rice and vegetable dishes. It can be also eaten alone as well, although you would be able to taste more of the fat (not recommended). Also, eating too much of the lap cheong is unhealthy for you. A small portion (about half) is good enough for one person. 

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