Chinese sausage, also known as lap cheong, is a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes. It’s a dried sausage that’s not cooked, but should be cooked before eating.
However, some people have claimed to eat it uncooked without any adverse reactions. So, can you really eat Chinese sausage uncooked?
In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide some tips on how to properly store and cook Chinese sausage.
Let’s dive in!
Can You Eat Chinese Sausage Uncooked?
While some people may have eaten Chinese sausage uncooked without any issues, it’s important to note that it’s not recommended. Chinese sausage is a raw meat product that has been dried, but not cooked. This means that it may contain harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness if consumed raw.
It’s always best to cook Chinese sausage before eating it. Cooking the sausage will not only kill any harmful bacteria, but it will also enhance its flavor and texture. Chinese sausage can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan-frying, steaming, or grilling.
What Is Chinese Sausage?
Chinese sausage, also known as “lap cheong,” is a type of dried and cured sausage that originated in China. It is made from a combination of pork and pork fat, and is typically seasoned with soy sauce, rice wine, rose water, and sugar. Chinese sausage has a sweet and savory flavor profile, and a dense, emulsified texture.
There are various types of Chinese sausage available, including those made with duck liver or beef. It can also come in different forms, such as air-cured or smoked. Chinese sausage is often used in Chinese cuisine as a flavoring ingredient in dishes such as fried rice, stir-fries, and steamed buns.
It’s important to note that while Chinese sausage is a popular ingredient in many dishes, it should always be cooked before consumption. Eating raw Chinese sausage can pose a risk of foodborne illness due to the presence of harmful bacteria that may be present in the raw meat. Therefore, it’s recommended to cook Chinese sausage thoroughly before eating to ensure its safety and optimal flavor.
The Risks Of Eating Chinese Sausage Uncooked
Eating Chinese sausage uncooked can pose several risks to your health. Raw sausage can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Listeria, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause serious infections and illnesses if consumed. Symptoms of foodborne illness from raw sausage can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and headache.
Additionally, Chinese sausage is often high in saturated fat and sodium, which can be unhealthy in large amounts. Some varieties also contain MSG, which can potentially lead to headaches and other symptoms in some people.
While Chinese sausage is typically made from pork or duck – both of which are a good source of protein – it’s important to note that eating it raw can expose you to a variety of health risks. Therefore, it’s recommended that you always cook Chinese sausage before consuming it to ensure that any harmful bacteria are eliminated and to maximize its flavor and texture.
How To Properly Store Chinese Sausage
Proper storage is key to ensuring that Chinese sausage stays fresh and safe to eat. Although Chinese sausage is sold vacuum-sealed and shelf-stable, once the packaging is opened, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. This will help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and extend its shelf life.
If you don’t plan on using the sausage frequently, it’s recommended to store it in the freezer. To do so, wrap the remaining sausages tightly in cling film or use a vacuum sealer to reseal the package. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep the sausage fresh for a longer period.
When storing Chinese sausage in the refrigerator or freezer, make sure to keep it well-sealed in an airtight container or ziplock bag with the air removed. This will prevent it from absorbing any unwanted smells or flavors from other foods.
If you have leftover cooked Chinese sausage, store it in an airtight container with a lid in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. To reheat, sprinkle a few drops of water on the sausage and microwave it for 20-second intervals until it’s heated through.
How To Cook Chinese Sausage Safely
To cook Chinese sausage safely, it’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines. Here are some tips on how to cook Chinese sausage safely:
1. Always wash your hands before handling the sausage and any other ingredients.
2. Make sure to cook the sausage at a temperature of 165°F or higher to kill any harmful bacteria.
3. When cooking the sausage in a pan, make sure it is cooked all the way through and there is no pink or raw meat visible.
4. If steaming the sausage, make sure it is steamed for at least 20 minutes to ensure it is fully cooked.
5. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the sausage to ensure it has reached 165°F or higher.
6. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and other ingredients.
By following these simple steps, you can safely enjoy the delicious taste of Chinese sausage without any risk of foodborne illness.
Delicious Ways To Enjoy Chinese Sausage In Your Cooking
Chinese sausage is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes to add a unique flavor and texture. Here are some delicious ways to incorporate Chinese sausage into your cooking:
1. Fried Rice: Chinese sausage is a perfect addition to fried rice, as it adds a sweet and savory flavor to the dish. Simply dice the sausage and stir-fry it with the rice, vegetables, and eggs for a delicious and satisfying meal.
2. Noodle Dishes: Chinese sausage can also be used in noodle dishes, such as chow mein or lo mein. Simply slice the sausage and stir-fry it with the noodles and vegetables for a flavorful and filling meal.
3. Steamed Buns: Chinese sausage can be used as a filling for steamed buns, also known as baozi. Simply dice the sausage and mix it with some vegetables, such as carrots or cabbage, and steam them together in the buns for a tasty and convenient snack.
4. Stir-Fries: Chinese sausage can be added to stir-fries for an extra burst of flavor. Simply slice the sausage and stir-fry it with your favorite vegetables and protein for a quick and easy meal.
5. Dumplings: Chinese sausage can also be used as a filling for dumplings, along with vegetables or meat. Simply dice the sausage and mix it with your desired filling, then wrap it in dumpling wrappers and steam or pan-fry them for a delicious and satisfying meal.
No matter how you choose to use Chinese sausage in your cooking, it’s sure to add a unique flavor that will elevate any dish. Just remember to always cook the sausage thoroughly before eating to ensure food safety.