Lap Cheong is a Cantonese pork sausage with a savory, sweet and smoky flavor. Often eaten during the Chinese New Year, Lap Cheong can be eaten hot or cold by itself, or incorporated into rice or noodle dishes. The addition of MSG and Baijiu give Lap Cheong its distinctive taste.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Lap Cheong is traditionally made with a mixture of fat and lean pork meat, including the loin, neck and/or belly. The meat is cut up and marinated in Baijiu (Chinese rice liquor), salt, spices and red rice yeast for color. The meat is then minced and made into sausages, before drying for up to twelve days.
Drying meat is an ancient meat preservation method in Asia, Lap Cheong is thought to date back to 580 BC. The name ‘lap cheong’ translates to ‘cured sausage’; the word ‘lap’ sounds like wax in Cantonese, referring to the sausages’ waxy appearance.
Similar sausages are produced in other parts of Asia with varying recipes. For example, in Taiwan they make the sausages softer and sweeter, in Vietnam they are often made with chicken and in Singapore they contain less fat so have a drier texture.
Lap Cheong Recipe
- Pork belly fat - 2 lbs
- Lean pork - 3 lbs
- Natural pork casing - 2 meters
- Baijiu - ½ cup
- Light soy sauce - ½ cup
- Szechuan pepper - 1 tbsp
- Salt - 1 tbsp
- Pink Salt - 1 tbsp
- Sugar - ½ cup
- MSG - 1 tsp
- Red rice yeast - 1 tbsp
- Chili powder - 2 tbsp
- Garlic cloves (crushed) - 2
- Ginger (grated) - 2 tbsp
- Finely chop the pork meat into small pieces and place them into a bowl.
- Add the Baijiu and stir to cover all of the meat.
- Add all of the seasoning to the bowl and mix well, make sure all of the pork is evenly covered.
- Leave to marinate for at least 3 hours in the fridge, overnight if possible.
- Using a meat grinder, grind all of the pork into minced meat.
- Once minced, stuff the thin sausage casings with the minced pork until almost full.
- Tie a knot in the end of the casing to seal it. Poke a few tiny holes in the casing with a needle to allow the air to escape without bursting the casing open.
- Carefully shape the sausages to be approximately 8 inches in length, twisting them to separate.
- Tie the bunch of sausages together to prevent them unraveling.
- Gently wash the sausages in warm water to remove any minced meat from the outside of the casing.
- Lightly brush the outside of each sausage with Baijiu to sterilize them.
- Dry the sausages with a cloth and tie the bunch up with twine.
- Hang them up in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 days.
- After 12 days, the lap cheong should be dried and ready to consume. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 994mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 25g