I've been seriously bad about stocking my fridge lately. I'm never home, and when I am all I want is a something egg and cheese. On the off-night I am home, by the time I flop down and yell "okay, everyone just shut up!" to nobody but the cat, I've also realized the population in my fridge is comprised of beer, sriracha, capers and the three tablespoons of Greek yogurt I so kindly left for myself in the tub instead of just finishing the thing off.
Thankfully, there's something I pick up at the Asian supermarket every three or so months, because that's about how often you need to replenish. It's a giant pack of individually wrapped Chinese sausage links, otherwise known as lap chang. More similar to landjäger (or frankly one of those super-fatty truck stop jerky-sausage-stick things), lap chang is a smoked pork sausage with generous hunks of fat (which render beautifully), sweetened with sugar and cured until rock-hard. When I say these sausages are cured, I mean "so cured nothing could possibly bring them down." This stuff is built to last. So when it's looking like fried rice night but there's no awesome fatty porky component, reach for the ingredient that always seems like it never runs out, won't go bad and tastes like compressed char siu.
Here are a few other things I've done with the only protein in my fridge besides three tablespoons of Greek yogurt because right now I'm even out of eggs. Dice, render slowly until crisp on the outside, and…
- Whisk with soy sauce, sesame oil and sliced scallions for an Asian spin on this awesome trend.
- Mix with chili-garlic sauce, hot Chinese mustard and chives for the perfect way to top your Japanese eggplant dog. Asian fusion called. It's back in town.
- Don't go Asian at all: try it instead of diced bacon or pancetta in your spaghetti carbonara. The sweet-salty-smokiness really works.
- Chop a little more and stuff into the center of a rice ball
- Make Chinese sausage-spiked ham salad, then make a banh mi. Asian fusion called. It's party time.
And now I'm going to take 8 minutes out of my day and order some Fresh Direct. Repeat after me: We love Chinese sausage! I mean, not to get this in your head or anything.
More new ingredients for lunch on Food Republic: