October 11th, 2012
Old Neighborhood Foods has recently added a new member to its family of sausages: Sweet Chinese Sausage! Someone familiar to Asian cuisine would initially think of the Cantonese name “Lap Cheong” when hearing “Chinese sausage,” which refers to the more traditional dried, hard, cured sausage made from pork and a high content of fat. However, Old Neighborhood Sweet Chinese Sausage actually embraces the Chinese “Char Siu” flavors that are more associated with dishes such as Chinese BBQ Pork Spareribs or Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao). Because of this, our Chinese sausages, made from 100% pork, are actually sweet and juicy and flavored with soy sauce and sesame oil.
You may be thinking, “Well, what can I make with Chinese sausage?” For a quick meal, they would go great with white jasmine rice or sticky rice. If you want a little something more than that, we have actually added a stir-fry recipe with bok choy on the back of the band that encases the sausage package. (Side note: Did you know that each Old Neighborhood Sausage product has a handy recipe on its band?) I have also taken the liberty to provide a recipe below, with a few pictures as I was cooking to highlight some steps! The recipe I used is for a quite popular dish in dim sum, a style of Chinese cuisine. Please note that while it is very commonly referred to as a “turnip” cake, the dish is actually composed of Chinese white radish or daikon!
Our Chinese Sausages are currently being sold in Market Basket. So whether you are interested in tasting our new product, or if you just happen to be in the supermarket for a grocery run, grab a package and give it a try! We hope you enjoy them just as much as our in-house taste panel!
Recipe: Turnip (Daikon) Cake
∙ Prep Time: about 30 minutes
∙ Cook Time: about 75 minutes
To start off, you will need the following ingredients. Many Asian markets will carry these, but if you do not have any around, you could also try your local supermarket chains that have aisles of various ethnic foods and ingredients.
∙ 1 lb. Chinese white radish, also known as a daikon
∙ 3 ¼ cups of rice flour
∙ 2 links of Old Neighborhood Sweet Chinese Sausage
∙ 3 oz. of dried shrimp
∙ 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
∙ Soy sauce
∙ 2 teaspoons of rice cooking wine (I used mirin)
∙ 1 teaspoon salt
∙ Olive oil
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour and 2 cups of water. Mix well until the mixture is smooth, and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in cold water for about 15 minutes so they can soften. Note that they will tend to float, so try to keep them immersed as much as possible. In a separate small bowl, soak the dried shrimp as well.
3. A good thing about Old Neighborhood Sweet Chinese Sausage is that the product is already fully cooked. That way, we can actually shave a few minutes in the prep work! Take the two links and chop them into small pieces. I personally opted to slice them thin, and then cut each of the thin slices into quarters. You could cut them smaller if you wish. Set the chopped sausage aside.
4. Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the bowl and squeeze out the excess water. Remove and discard the stems. Finely chop the caps and set aside.
5. Clean and peel the daikon. With a mandolin, slice the daikon into 1 cm thick slices. Then cut each slice into 1 cm thick strips. I actually do not have a mandolin at home, but I happened to have a nice peeler that essentially does the same. Set the daikon strips aside.
6. Remove the shrimp from the water as well. (Optional) Finely chop the shrimp.
7. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, or preferably a wok. Add the mushrooms and shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and the cooking wine and stir until they are well-coated. Add the sausage and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
8. In another skillet or pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil. Toss in the daikon strips and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of water, cover the pan, and steam the daikon for about 5 minutes until just cooked.
9. Now take the hot daikon, pour them into the large mixing bowl containing the rice flour mixture, and mix thoroughly. Once the daikon is well-incorporated, add the mushroom, shrimp, sausage, and salt. Mix thoroughly again.
10. The next step actually depends on the tools that you have at home. I personally have a double steamer that will only fit 5-inch pans, so I took the mixture and pour it evenly into two 5-in. pans. If you have a pot or steamer that can hold a 10-in pan, then you can use that instead. Once the mixture is poured into your pan(s), smooth out the top.
11. In a pot/wok/steamer that can hold your pan(s), bring water to a boil. Carefully place the pan(s) into the pot/wok/steamer, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Steam for 1 hour, or until the daikon cake is firm to the touch. During the hour that you are steaming, be sure to check the water level regularly and replenish with boiling water, if necessary. Remove the cake from the heat and let it cool for about an hour.
12. When the cake is cooled, remove it from the pan(s) and place it onto a cutting board. Slice the cake into 1-inch thick rectangles.
13. You now have two options.
A. You can serve the cake as-is, in the sliced rectangles, or
B. You can now pan-fry the cake pieces. To pan-fry them, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil to barely cover the bottom. Fry the pieces in batches, making sure to get each side golden brown.
14. Whichever option you chose, you can now serve with oyster sauce, chili sauce, or soy sauce.
My picture above definitely doesn’t do the dish justice, but here are other pictures from the internet!
A slightly condensed version of the recipe can be found here: Turnip (Daikon) Cake