Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Friday Food 73 – Harbin Red Sausage

Friday food is a weekly article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This week we are looking at Harbin Red Sausage.

I’m no fan of Chinese sausages in general. Those Cantonese style, shrivelled, dry, sweet things with their huge globs of fat are, to my taste, disgusting.


Chinese sausages 腊肠

That said, I have found the best way to cook them. Lay one or two on top of your raw rice in the rice cooker and switch it on as normal. When the rice is cooked remove the sausages and bin them. The rice will taste great.

Two exceptions to my sausage aversion are blood sausage which I have covered before and these sausages from China’s far north.

Harbin red sausage (哈尔滨红肠) was introduced to China from Russia and is more like an eastern European sausage than Chinese. Highly reminiscent of Polish sausage, in fact. Only slightly sweet and, when made well, with hints of smoke and cinnamon and cardamom.

Harbin Sausage 2

Harbin Red Sausage

Harbin red sausages don’t always come from Harbin, though.

yurun logoYurun, China’s biggest meat product company do a version. They are based in Nanjing, a long way from Harbin. The company has a surprising ability to turn out hundreds of different sausages and other meat products, all of which simultaneously taste the same while not really tasting of anything piggy. And I’d hate to guess what is in the ‘meat’. I avoid them although their stuff is in every supermarket. Industrial food at its worst.

Much better is to go for one of the small producers – especially if you can find some which are really from Harbin. The ones pictured above are from a smaller producer in Shengyang, capital of Liaoning Province. Not Harbin, but a bit closer than Nanjing. Here is the packaging

Harbin Sausage


Around ¥20 per 500g. I found these in 直营店. They are good.

And now from the sublime to the ridiculous. Here is a true tale of sausage horror.

McDonalds are offering what they describe as a “German Sausage Double Beef Burger”. This, they say,  consists of two beef patties, two sausages, and mustard. As ever, the promise and the reality are on two different planets. Only ¥17.50.


The Promise

McDonalds German Sausage

The Reality (picture courtesy of Ray Shine, used with permission. You didn’t think I’d buy one, did you?)

. This entry was posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 7:00 am and is filed under Food and Drink, Friday Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Friday Food 73 – Harbin Red Sausage”

  1. Frank S Says:

    It is said (by whom?) that red sausage was introduced by Lithuanians who resided in the Harbin area in the early 20th century. Harbin was a staging post on the path to immigration to USA. Many of the foreign residents there were from the Baltics, escaping from the Russian revolution c.1905.

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