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Aug 8, 2010 04:19 PM

SF Chowhound's help - Chinese sausage but not lop cheung

Trying to identify and locate a certain sausage I used to buy years ago in Chinatown at Lee's Market on Grant (left side) and Broadway. They kept it the coils hanging in the window next to the roast duck, char siu pork etc. It was 1-/1/2" in diameter and had a slightly sweet, savory taste with a green herb I believe was chives. Texture was more of a regular grind as opposed to chunky and it appeared to be oven roasted. Probably pork. Trying to satiate a craving from the past and happened to be in SF today but no luck. Only found at Lee's and another market a few shops away that no longer exists.

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  1. That's fung cheong, usually has quite a bit of cilantro in it.

    20 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Not to hijack the thread, but notice you seem somewhat knowledgeable on Chinese sausage. Is it my imagination or is the sausage I see on steam tables at Chinese take out places not really Chinese sausage but stuff like that Hillshire Polish Kielbasa? I could swear a couple times I've had it at places it sure tastes like it.

      1. re: monku

        Not familiar with that, where are you finding these? Fung cheong is about the same diameter and coarser grind like kielbasa, but the flavor is much different.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Definitely no cilantro in it.
          Wing Lee on Clement Street comes to mind where I've seen a the type of sausage I'm talking about on the steam table.

      2. re: Melanie Wong

        I remember having to buy it by late morning or else it would be sold out. Great that I can now ask for it by name. Thanks. Do you know a source where I can buy it? :)

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          What does "fung" mean? "Cheong" must mean sausage I guess.

          1. re: vincentlo

            I don't really know. Maybe wind, as in air-cured? I would love to hear any insight into the name.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I've always known "four cheung" literally as "FIRE sausage," which stands for roast sausage.

              Similarly, "four yoke" and "four opp" refers to roast pork/pig and roast duck respectively.

            2. re: vincentlo

              i always thought it meant 粉肠 (or powdery intestine literally).

              1. re: vincentlo

                A bit late to this thread...

                I agree with CYL, it's "fire sausage" and the pronunciation is "fo" with a rising tone and the o is like hot in a British accent. I've been told that ordering roast duck or pig using "fo" labels you as old fashioned or a country bumpkin depending on your age.

                @MW - wind is pronounced as "fung" with a high flat tone so I can understand the confusion.

                @ rotiprata - your word would be pronounced with a "fun," high tone, and would probably result in hilarity because that's a transposition of the dim sum item of a rolled flat rice noodle cheung fun!

                All the talk about cilantro has left me puzzled. This sausage used to be very common but I've never seen it with the herb.

                  1. re: rotiprata

                    Right about the mid-rising tone, should have caught that.

                    Odd that there's no 肠肠, even the French have that in the form of andouillette

                  2. re: PorkButt

                    Well that depends...some Toishanese who speak Cantonese still call roast duck roast pork as foh ngap or foh yok. People from Hong Kong use "siu" as in "roast". And since San Francisco has a much larger concentration of Toishanese (amongst other regional Cantonese) folk, they might see people who use "siu" as city bumpkins or what not. :-o

                    I'd love to see a picture of this said sausage.

                    Never heard of foh cheung....but fun cheung 粉腸 is typically simmered pig's intestines, quite common at some Cantonese roastie deli's and very common in HK. 粉腸 is also Cantonese slang people use to refer to people they dislike, when they don't want to use swear words directly. Let's just say it sounds something like calling someone who has a face like a male private part, ie another way of calling someone a name or a jerk, and leave it at that. Basically secret code one can use to indirectly "ideally normal height" (that has got to be the funniest one ever created).

                    1. re: K K

                      The terms of fire and roast are still use by old timers in Chinatown. Think of this as a uncured lop chung. Fresh seasoned meat (sometimes leftover cuts of pork and etc) stuffed in a casing and coiled and then roasted. Popular a couple of decade ago but now only a couple of Chinese deli I know of sell it. Use to be favorite of mine but after one old time Chinese BBQ chef retired the taste was not the same. Next time when I am in the city I will take a photo for you.

                      1. re: K K

                        I brought the fo/siu issue up because these days, my elderly Toisanese mother gets sneered at when she uses old Cantonese words that aren't in common use any more.

                        I don't remember seeing this sausage in SF recently but the deli on the east side of 8th St in Oakland next to the dim sum shop regularly has it.

                        1. re: PorkButt

                          Not necessarily sneering or snobbery, but could be simply ignorance of the term. I was visiting my great aunt (Cantonese, immigrated in the 1930's) in New Jersey in the early 90's, she kept referring fo (Fire). I was confuse what she meant..until my mom explained she wanted me to turn on the light!

                          I just saw the sausage yesterday last night, at one of the roast meat deli's on the north side of Stockton (sorry can't recall which one). But it was not hanging up, it was in a tray on the steam table.

                          1. re: gnomatic

                            The deli is between Pacific and Broadway, slightly north of Pacific, on the western side of Stockton.

                            If you want to pretend that you're from Toishan, ask for "four cheung," if you wish to pretend you're from H. K., ask for "shill cheung." If you do not want to assume any pretenses, just point at the sausage lying in the stainless steel tray right next to the window.

                            1. re: gnomatic

                              Yes, normally it is in a tray but cooked hanging. The store is two door down from Pacific on Stockton. I too do not remember the name either. As I get older my memory is gone the way of my waistline. The best one was at this place but that was twenty years ago when the old cook was there. Now it looks the same but the taste is not there.

                              1. re: yimster

                                I just walked by, I think the name is Sun Sang Market. North West side on Stockton @ Pacific. $.59/lb.

                                1. re: gnomatic

                                  That is it. But not 59 cent a pound. Maybe 5.90 a lb

                                  1. re: yimster

                                    Probably...'cause I was that's hella cheap. The decimal sign might have been buried beneath the pile of sausage.

                  3. <Squeel>! I will most definitely hit up Sun Sang Market ASAP in report back. Thanks all!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: kemi5

                      Here's a photo of the sausage that we're discussing ......taken at Sun Sang Market on 1205 Stockton St. SF

                      1. re: gordon wing

                        Saw some of that at the place next to Sung Sing Dim Sum in Oakland Ctown(8th St) last wk

                        1. re: gordon wing

                          Sun Sang had the best in San Francisco back in the day. Today it looks the same but the taste was not there. I guess I will have to break down and try it again. But it seems that the food used to be better. Or I is it that I remember it was better.

                          1. re: gordon wing

                            "shill cheung" as labelled herein.

                            1. re: gordon wing

                              That is totally it!!! Next time I know where to go. Thanks much.