Spicy Chinese Sausage Salad – Yam Kun Chiang (ยำกุนเชียง)


Thai Sausage Salad recipe
Dried Chinese sausage (aka lap cheong or lap chong), which the Thai call kun chiang (กุนเชียง), is widely used in Thai cuisine. It was also a staple in our house.

When I was a kid, my nanny would cut a few links of kun chiang into thin diagonal slices and saute them in a pan just to crisp up the outsides. A portion of glistening, perfectly seared pieces of aromatic dried sausage would then go on top of steamed Jasmine rice followed by a couple of glugs of Maggi sauce.

That was usually how my nanny got me to wear a skirt from time to time or sit still long enough for her to braid or curl my hair in an attempt to turn little Leela into something that vaguely resembled a girl.

Thai Sausage Salad recipe
As for the rest of the seared kun chiang pieces, she would turn them into a simple spicy salad, Yam Kun Chiang (ยำกุนเชียง), for the older members of the family. The salad has been a favorite in our family for many years. It can be eaten by itself as a first course. It’s also great as an entrée served with rice or plain rice porridge. For my grandfather, kun chiang salad and a glass of frosty cold Singha beer form a celestial match. I’ve been known to put Yam Kun Chiang inside a split baguette and eat it like a Banh Mi sandwich.

Thai Sausage Salad recipe
This salad couldn’t be simpler to make. The only part that takes any effort at all would be searing the sausage pieces. Kun Chiang is both sweet and fatty; care needs to be taken in making sure that the sausage is not over-caramelized or over-crisped.

Spicy Chinese Sausage Salad: Yam Kun Chiang
(Serves 4)
Printable Version

Thai sausage salad
4 links (300 g) of dried chinese sausage (lap cheong or lap chong), sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch thick pieces
1 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3-4 fresh bird’s eye chillis, finely chopped or cut into very thin slices
1/2 cup loosely-packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Lime juice, to taste
Fish sauce, to taste

  • In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, sear the sausage slices until crisp on the outside.
  • In a bowl, toss all the ingredients, except lime juice and fish sauce, together.
  • Season to taste with lime juice and fish sauce.
  • Serve immediately.
  • 27 Responses to Spicy Chinese Sausage Salad – Yam Kun Chiang (ยำกุนเชียง)

    1. Kelly July 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

      That looks fantastic! I adore Chinese sausage and I use it in rice a lot because it adds so much flavor. I have never had it in a salad, but I am going to give it a try!!

    2. 5 Star Foodie July 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

      Awesome salad! Would love to try Chinese sausage sometime soon.

    3. Jenn July 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

      I LOVE Chinese sausage. This salad looks mighty good. I have a pack in the freezer right now. I think I’ll cook some up tonight.

    4. doggybloggy July 27, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

      what a delicious looking salad – there are so many varieties of sausage I find in the different areas of chinatown – I wouldnt know what to choose..

    5. lisaiscooking July 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

      I’ve never tried Chinese sausage. I love the use of the chillis in the salad!

    6. Cucinista July 27, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

      I have never tried the sausage, but I will go on a hunt in China town this week. Looks fantastic. Nothing tastes like the food we ate growing up, eh?

    7. Arwen from Hoglet K July 27, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

      That sounds really flavoursome. I love the idea of your nanny bribing you with food to sit still!

    8. Justin July 28, 2009 at 2:53 am #

      this looks so easy and the lime juice and fish sauce sounds like a yummy combination

    9. OysterCulture July 28, 2009 at 3:15 am #

      This looks fantastic, and I can imagine what a delicious combination of refreshing flavors are competing for superiority in your mouth. Do you have any recommendations on brands of Chinese sausage? Some of the varieties I’ve seen look like they have a half life of a Mickey D’s hamburger based on the preservatives in them.

      My husband is obsessed with snake head, I see we’ll have to be on the lookout for the Thai sausage made with that fish.

    10. Don July 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

      You’re on vacation in Bangkok and still providing quality blog posts. Much respect!

      My family used to take pork Chinese Sausages (lighter purple one), chop them almost to a brunoise, and fry them up in a pan to render out the fat and crisp them. Then, drained, we added them to salads in lieu of crumbled bacon.

    11. Manggy July 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

      Aww. Delicious food to go with fond memories! I gotta say, the sausage with rice and maggi sounds like it would hit the spot now, hehe 🙂

    12. Cookie July 28, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

      I haven’t had Chinese Sausage since I was a kid and remember it being SO good! My mom always sauteed it with some cabbage like a warm salad.

    13. pigpigscorner July 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

      Love chinese sausage! I’ve never used it in salads though, looks and sounds great!

    14. Indian July 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

      Wow, Those images bring water in my mouth. Great blog here you have.

    15. burpandslurp July 29, 2009 at 1:31 am #

      eek! To be honest, I’m not a big fan of chinese sausages…but I would use chorizo sausages in there…I like the flavor combinations!

    16. Jude July 29, 2009 at 3:53 am #

      You just had to tease us with a photo of coriander root. I swear if I ever saw that in Chicago, I’d buy a whole bushel.

    17. Ben July 29, 2009 at 11:48 am #

      Simple AND spicy! It doesn’t get any better than that :-p

    18. Juliana July 30, 2009 at 3:02 am #

      Yummie, love the sausage, and never had in salad…have to try it!

    19. OysterCulture August 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

      Made this last night and it was AWESOME – so tasty, we’re doing a repeat tonight to make sure it was truly that spectacular.

    20. AsianSupper July 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

      ohhh. I like to eat my sausages with sticky rice. That used to be my afternoon snack growing up.

    21. kaitlin July 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

      drool. i just had lunch and i’m still hungry. this looks fabulous!

    22. Anonymous August 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

      I recently bought a pack of Chinese sausages, but doubted whether they are กุนเชียง. You verified it for me. THANKS 🙂

    23. Korteztk February 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      I can’t eat nitrites. Over the years I’ve developed a headache reaction to this preservative. Can anyone suggest a substitute because this salad looks great.

      Thanks.

      • sal June 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

        Kortezik, you could substitute fried tofu strips (or meat/plainsausage) seasoned seasoned with smoked paprika, smoked paprka gives a nice smokey taste without nitrates,

    24. pip December 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      This salad is absolutely delicious – so simple and refreshing!

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