Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Culinary Bliss with Chinese Sausage

Chinese sausage is a delight for which I have a serious propensity. It dates to my teenage years, when, lured by curiosity, I brought some home from a small ethnic Asian market near the corner of Maryland and North Avenues here in Baltimore. Unable to locate any cookbooks that offered information related to Chinese sausage, I fried some up (which isn't what you're supposed to do) and took a liking. My next experience with it was about 20 years ago when the menu at Bangkok Place on York Road in Govans featured it as the principal ingredient in one of several preparations of Yum.

Years later, I learned that rather than "fry up" Chinese sausage, it's best to steam it for fifteen minutes, let it cool, and slice diagonally prior to mixing and sometimes sauteing it with other ingredients.

Pictured above is a recipe from the July, 2007 Food & Wine for Lemongrass Salad with Chinese Sausage and Mango (and also watercress, cilantro, shallot, Thai chili, ginger, etc., etc.) As best I can determine, this is the first image of this dish to appear on the Internet. Its creator is the now legendary young chef Zak Pelaccio, whose cutting edge Malaysian culinary sensibilities contributed Fatty Crab and 5 Ninth to Manhattan's dining scene. No other Asian salad that I've ever tasted pleased me as much.