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).
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