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What Is a Sausage Bun?

By Angela Farrer
Updated May 16, 2024
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A sausage bun is a type of Chinese pastry that consists of a sausage link encircled with one of several types of sweet breads. This snack is particularly popular in cities such as Hong Kong and can often be bought from street vendors like American hot dogs in large United States cities. The Chinese sausage bun is usually compared to its American counterpart, but its recipes generally contain a few key ingredient differences. Instead of being placed inside a hot dog bun, the sausage is fully wrapped with bread dough prior to the cooking process.

Recipes for Chinese breads used for sausage buns generally consist of flour, sugar, eggs, milk, salt, and bread yeast. Just as with baking any type of breads, correct measuring and mixing of the yeast are vital to obtaining the proper rising and texture of the bread. Some cooks like to mix the dry ingredients by hand before adding the eggs and milk, while others prefer to combine all of the ingredients at once. Once the sausage bun dough has been kneaded to the right consistency, most recipes call for leaving the dough to expand for about one hour while preparing the sausages.

The types of sausages used in these recipes can vary widely according to personal tastes. Some cooks prefer American-style hot dogs, while others prefer bratwurst. Sausage bun recipes can even be made with flavored sausages such as smoked apple-wood or tomato basil. Each type of sausage should be cooked until it is lightly browned or well done.

Once the sausage bun dough has expanded to approximately twice its original size, the home cook generally kneads it for several minutes to release any trapped air bubbles. The dough is then cut into roughly equal-size pieces that can cover each sausage when wrapped around it lengthwise. The number of dough pieces should be the same as the number of sausages, and cooks can have various methods of wrapping them around the sausage. Some keep the dough towards the middle of the sausage while others like to spiral a rolled-out piece of dough around it until each sausage is completely covered.

After the dough is added to the sausages, many recipes call for leaving the sausage buns out at room temperature for another 15 to 20 minutes to allow the sausage bun dough to settle into its new shape. Some cooks like to brush the dough with egg yolk for a flakier texture. The wrapped sausages are then usually baked in an oven at around 355° F (about 180° C) for approximately 20 minutes.

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Discussion Comments
By disciples — On Jul 15, 2012

People reading the article will probably think that a sausage bun tastes just like a sausage on a bun but they are really not the same.

First, the bun they use in China is a lot sweeter. Not like a pastry but definitely sweeter than the buns we use here.

Also, Chinese sausages are delicious but unique. I can't really describe the flavor but they do not taste like the bratwursts and Italian sausages that we usually eat in the states.

By BAU79 — On Jul 14, 2012

I sent some time in China last year and I practically lived on sausage buns. They are for sale everywhere, they are quick and cheap and they are delicious. I had other meals, but I always found myself coming back to the sausage buns.

I have never really found an equivalent in the states. In fact, a lot of Chinese food I had over there I have never found over here. And I am not talking about gourmet dishes. I am talking about street foods and snacks. Someone could make a killing if they opened a Chinese street food truck here.

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