Good with Ng Ka Py 五加皮
Mr.Ng Bow Sun’s Choice
The question sometimes comes up, what goes well with Ng Ka Py 五加皮? In the 1950s, when only a trickle of Chinese goods were coming into the United States, usually by irregular routes, Mr. Ng Bow Sun had a stash of Ng Ka Py.
Mr. Ng was manager of Tao Yuan Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and he always said he had located a supply of the brandy that a colleague had imported since before the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1930. According to him, it had been gathering dust in the corner of a San Francisco all those years.
The bottles certainly looked dusty, and bore the imprint of a distillery in Canton Province that has long since disappeared, so maybe he was right.
The old Tao Yuan Restaurant on Clay Street was laid out on strict Feng Shui 風水principles, with a staircase that turned, a large mirror on the bottom landing, and a wide screen at the bottom of the stairway. All designed to confuse malevolent spirits and influences.
Mr. Ng would produce a bottle of the spirit with the air of a sommelier holding up a bottle of rare Napoleon brandy as he took orders for the cold meat appetizers. The diners only drank one or two small glasses each, neat, with no chaser, while nibbling on the cold dishes.
One of the typical ones was Chinese Sausage 香腸 with Mustard. Of course, it goes well with other drinks as well. A Manhattan or a Rob Roy would be a good match.
Chinese Sausage with Mustard
1 pound Chinese Sausage
8 tablespoons English style Mustard, such as Coleman’s or OB
¼ cup Mirin, Sake or White Wine
First take the dry Mustard powder and gradually beat in the Sake, Mirin or White Wine, a teaspoon at a time, until the Mustard is a smooth consistency for dipping, then set it aside.
Put about 2 inches of Water in the bottom of a large wok or stock pot, then put a bamboo or metal steamer on top resting above but not touching the Water.
Arrange the Sausages in a single layer in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Steam the sausage, turning once, until it is fork-tender and heated throughout. This should take 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the Sausages to a cutting board, but before cutting them, rub off any wax coating with a paper towel. There are two main types of Chinese sausage, one made with Duck Meat and another, made from the Duck Meat and Liver. There is also an all Pork variety. Some of these have a thin waxy coating, which should be rubbed off after steaming if you notice it.
Using a sharp knife, cut each sausage at an angle in a piece about two inches long. Serve with the Mustard dip on the side and with tiny thimbles of Ng Ka Py.