Homemade Sichuan Sausage, Chinese Style

Aromatic, herbaceous, and a little spicy, Szechuan lamb sausage is inspired by traditional Chinese sausage flavors that might be foreign to a lot of people in the United States. It’s also known as Sichuan mala sausage and makes delicious fried rice. If you like it spicy, herby sausage, you’re in for a treat.

Szechuan inspired goat sausage with prickly ash

Sichuan Sausage Ingredients

Traditionally made with pork meat like shoulder or pork belly, I’ve adapted it here to lamb. Goat can also be used. Some recipes will have you air dry the sausage to have it thinly sliced, but I prefer making it fresh. Making it fresh means there’s no waiting, and you don’t have to be familiar with charcuterie safety. There’s a few ingredients to go over I’ll describe below.

Lamb Shoulder or Pork Shoulder

It’s important to use a meat with the right ratio of intramuscular to intermuscular fat. Pork should or lamb shoulder both work great.

Szechuan peppercorns

Prickly Ash wild szechuan peppercorns (3)
Wild Szechuan peppercorns.

I harvest wild Szechuan peppercorns, or prickly ash berries, and there exactly what they sound like: a wild cousin of the plant whose seeds are used as a spice in Chinese and Japanese cooking. The berries give a numbing flavor to dishes, and are mostly used in combination with something spicy, which creates a hot-numb flavor known as Mala. The effect seems a little different at first, but is addictive, making your mouth water more than you ever thought possible. An important thing to know though, is that wild Szechuan peppercorns from America are much more tame than ones you might buy at an Asian market, so you should cut the amount in half if you use commercial Szechuan peppercorns.

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce, and all of it’s delicious umami makes for a fun substitute for salt in many dishes, including sausage. Making a brine with it for roast chicken is also a great way to use it off the beaten path from what most people will be familiar with.

Making and using the sausage

Making the sausage is easy:  take some ground lamb or goat, mix it with the seasonings, and let it sit overnight for the flavors to meld. After it’s done, you can fry it up in small patties, or use it to make small dumplings, as shown in the pictures in this post. It’s also good made into small meatballs and cooked in soup. Lamb and goat sausage is different than pork and can be cooked pink or medium. Try to avoid overcooking it as it can dry out.

Szechuan inspired goat sausage with prickly ash
Lamb Szechuan sausage dumplings with soy.
Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef



This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com. 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Szechuan inspired goat sausage with prickly ash
Lamb Chinese Sichuan sausage.

Other Lamb and Goat Sausage Recipes

Blood Sausage

Lamb or Goat Hot Italian Sausage

Lamb Breakfast Sausage

Szechuan inspired goat sausage with prickly ash
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Sichuan Sausage, Chinese Style

Spicy, numbing, umami-packed sausage made from grass fed goat, fish sauce, hot chili and Sichuan peppercorns. See recipe note.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Goat, Ground goat, Lamb Sausage, Prickly ash
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 544kcal
Cost: 10


  • 1 Sausage stuffer (optional)
  • 1 Meat grinder


  • 5 lb Lamb shoulder or pork shoulder or other pork meat (ask your local butchers)
  • 3 tablespoons ground prickly ash berries or Szechuan peppercorns use half this amount is using commercial Szechuan peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce preferably Red Boat brand
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2.5 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste, depending on your heat tolerance
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cloves, star anise or spicebush berries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger finely grated
  • 3 small clove garlic finely grated (about ½ teaspoon)
  • 1.5 tablespoons maple sugar or other sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 Small handful of chopped fresh cilantro culantro, or rau ram


Grind the meat

  • Cut the meat into 1 inch pieces, chill in the freezer for 30 minutes
  • Grind the meat through the medium die and reserve.
  • Grind the Sichuan pepper into pepper powder using a spice grinder.

Make the sausage

  • Combine the ground meat in a bowl and mix well with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook a small piece of the sausage to test the seasoning for salt. Taste and adjust as needed until it tastes good to you.
  • Allow the sausage to rest overnight in the refrigerator, which will allow the salt time to bond and activate the myosin in the meat, which helps keep it moist.

Stuffing the sausage

  • Pack the sausage into casings using the stuffer attachment. Tie them off at 4 inches.
  • The sausage will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.


  • To use pork, cut the pork the same way as the lamb and grind through the meat grinder. 
  • Grinding your own meat is optional, if you want you can use ground meat-it just may not be as juicy. It will still be fine for potstickers and recipes where it's used in fillings. 
  • You can scale the recipe down to 1 lb if you have ground meat. Adjust the seasoning to taste. 
  • You can scale this up as needed, but adjust the salt down, aiming for about 1 % of the total weight of the meat when making larger batches (a great reason to have a kitchen scale).


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1095mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 3mg