There is a choice of fatty or lean sausages. There are different kinds ranging from those made using fresh pork to those made using pig livers, duck livers and even turkey livers. Usually a sausage made with liver will be darker in color than one made without liver. Recently, there have even been countries producing chicken Chinese sausages. Traditionally they are classified into two main types. It is sometimes rolled and steamed in dim sum.
Chinese sausages drying
Lap cheong (Cantonese) or là cháng (Mandarin) (臘腸/腊肠) is a dried, hard sausage usually made from pork and a high content of fat. It is normally smoked, sweetened, and seasoned with rose water, rice wine and soy sauce.
Xiang chang (香腸 - xiāng cháng) is a fresh and plump sausage consisting of coarsely chopped pieces of pork and un-rendered pork fat. The sausage is rather sweet in taste.
Nuomi chang (糯米腸 - nuò mǐ cháng) is a white-colored sausage consisting of glutinous rice and flavoring stuffed into a casing and then steamed or boiled until cooked. The nuomi chang of some Chinese cultures have blood as a binding agent similar to Korean sundae.
Xue chang (血腸 - xuě cháng) are Chinese sausages that have blood as the primary ingredient. Bairouxue chang (白肉血腸 - bái ròu xuě cháng ) is a type of sausage popular in northeast China that includes chopped meat in the blood mixture.
In northeast China, especially Heilongjiang's largest city Harbin, a popular regional specialty is smoked savory hóng cháng (红肠，red sausage) similar to Lithuanian and German sausages and mild Russian sausages with more "European" flavours than other Chinese sausages. It was first manufactured in March 1909 by Lithuanian staff in a Russian-capitalized factory named Churin Sausage Factory, located in Harbin's Daoli District. Harbin-style sausage subsequently became popular in China, especially in northern regions. A sweeter dried version similar to southern Chinese sausages is also produced.
In Vietnamese, Chinese sausage is called lạp xưởng or lạp xường. It has been incorporated into a variety of dishes from simple omelets to more complex main courses. Due to the salty taste of the sausages, they are used in moderation with other ingredients to balance the flavor. The sausages are made from pork (lạp xưởng heo) or chicken (lạp xưởng gà), the latter of which yields a leaner taste.
In Burmese, the sausage is called either kyet u gyaung (chicken sausage; ကြက်အူချောင်း) or wet u gyaung (pork sausage; ဝက်အူချောင်း). The sausages made in Myanmar are more meaty and compact compared to those in Singapore or China. They are usually used in fried rice and along with fried vegetables, mostly cabbage.
In the Philippines, Chinese sausage is more popularly known as tsorisong Macau (Spanish: chorizo de Macao), with the Spanish-influenced one called tsorisong Bilbao (chorizo de Bilbao). It is used in Chinese-derived dishes such as pancitCantón and Siopao Bola-bola, among others.
Taiwan also produces a similar form of sausage; however, they are rarely dried in the manner of Cantonese sausages. The fat and meat may be emulsified, and a larger amount of sugar may be used, yielding a sweeter taste. These sausages are usually produced by local butchers and sold at markets or made directly at home. This variant of Chinese sausage is known as xiangchang (香腸) in Mandarin Chinese, literally meaning fragrant sausage.
In Thai, the Chinese sausage la chang is called gun chiang (Thai: กุนเชียง) after its name in the Teochew dialect (kwan chiang in Teochew), the dominant Chinese language within the Thai Chinese community. It is used in several Chinese dishes by the sizeable Thai Chinese community, and also in some Thai dishes such as yam kun chiang, a Thai salad made with this sausage. There is also Chinese sausage made with snakehead fish (pla chon; Thai: ปลาช่อน).
Chinese sausages are generally available in Asian supermarkets outside Asia, mostly in a vacuum-packaged form, although some Chinese groceries sell the unpackaged varieties as well. These tend to be made locally; for example, many of the Chinese sausages sold in Canada are produced by a number of manufacturers based in Vancouver and Toronto. Lap cheong is also a very popular sausage in Hawaii due to large numbers of Chinese in Hawaii who have incorporated it into local cuisine.