CNY series: On the sixth day of New Year…lup cheong

On the sixth day of New Year my mama said to me
6. lup cheong and waxed duck

Lup Cheong (Chinese sausage) consists of seasoned pork meat that is stuffed into a casing (or pig’s intestines) along with other ingredients. There are generally two types of sausages — pork sausage and liver sausage. Pork sausage tend to be more red in colour while liver sausages are darker in colour. Pork sausages especially contain a percentage of fat in them. Both types of sausages may contain wine in them, depending on the price they fetch.

Chinese sausage and waxed duck were originally means of preserving meat in winter so that farmers would have meat to eat in the coming spring. Hence meat were just dried in the cold winter air. Today, these meats appear especially during CNY and there is a lot of variety, ranging from more fatty versions to healthier ones.

When I was young, we used to cut up the sausages and stir fried them until the fat was gone and there was a crispiness to the pieces. We would then mix in the vegetables or eat the pieces on their own with plain rice. Alternatively, a small plate or saucer of lup cheong slices would be placed on top of rice that was almost cooked and when the rice was ready, we would eat the rice with the lup cheong pieces together. The oil from the lup cheong would be visible in the saucer; an indication of how oily lup cheong is. CNY would be the only time we ate them though. Between lup cheong and liver sausages, I prefer the liver ones as they were nicer and less oily.

Another way of cooking lup cheong is with glutinous rice in a claypot. The sausages are cut up and mixed into the rice, with different sauces and chopped mushrooms. The mushrooms are the dried Chinese mushrooms that have been soaked overnight (or several hours if not overnight) until they are bloated and soft. Glutinous rice is very filling, more so than white rice.

The rationale for eating waxed meats for CNY is so that the new year would be smooth (like oil is oily).

Crystal Jade Kitchen, 68 Orchard Road, #02-32 Plaza Singapura. Tel: 63362833.

Glutinous rice with Chinese sausage. We ordered this at Crystal Jade as well. It was good but very filling. I had to drink a cup of hot tea to aid with breaking down the oil in the food. This dish was the second dish we ordered at Crystal Jade.

Selection of lup cheong (the red ones), liver cheong (liver sausages) and waxed duck. Though it is called waxed duck, there is no wax in the duck itself. It is just the way the duck is smoked and preserved. The duck has to be steamed in order for it to be eaten. The duck is very salty and has to be chopped up before serving. This photograph is courtesy of a good friend.

This is what the lup cheong looks like at first. It has been sweetened and mixed with sauces before being placed in its casing and smoked or boiled. Some sausages are marinated in wine.

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One thought on “CNY series: On the sixth day of New Year…lup cheong

  1. Pingback: An initiation into nobility | Sudah makan? Have you eaten?

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