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Char Siu

Char Siu is roasted or barbecued pork from Cantonese cuisine that is very popular in Hong Kong and in most Southeast Asian region commonly served at Chinese restaurants. It is deliciously sticky with sweet and savory notes.

Char Siu using pork tenderloin

I do not remember exactly when I got my first taste of Char Siu but it was definitely on one of the trips I made to Hongkong. It could be actually from my first (Hongkong-Macau) trip with friends, Roms and Leony. One of the highlights of our trip to HK, aside from going to Disney and  Ocean Park, was trying out the HK food including their street food! 

Char Siu Recipe9

It will be impossible to miss Char Siu because you will find them hanging in windows of siu mei shops beside other equally yummy roasted meat, like chicken, goose or duck.  They look and smell so good that you will surely be tempted to try them out as you should!

My last trip to Hongkong was in March 2012 with my parents and sisters. We planned this trip so could spend some quality time before I leave for Germany to join Armin and at the same time, our youngest sister, Cherry, for Dubai. It was great! I have to say I really love Hongkong!

family in hkThere are so much to see and things to try and we wanted to see and try them all… What we did not have so much of, though, was…time, so what we would do was to get some take-outs from these siu mei shops and have our lunch on the go, usually at the parks which a lot of people do anyway. 

My favorites are the Char Siu and Siu Ngo (roasted goose). They would pack them on a foam lunch box on top of steamed rice and sometimes with a little green vegetable like Pak Choi on the side and a sauce for dipping.

Char Siu Pork

How to make Five-Spice Powder

The first time I made this recipe, I didn’t have five-spice powder. But I did have all of the things needed to make it. 

To make homemade Five-Spice powder you need:

  • 10 cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder  

Just grind all spices together to make 5-spice powder.

Alternatively, combine all these spices with the other ingredients for the Char Siu marinade in a blender or food processor and pulse for 3 minutes or until dry ingredients turn into fine bits and pieces.

 

What cut of meat is best for Char Siu?

Here are the pork cuts that are best suited for making Char Siu:

  • Pork neck
  • tenderloin
  • shoulder/butt
  •  belly (without skin)

It is a matter of personal preference when choosing the cut of meat to use. If you like it fatty and juicy, then use pork belly.  The pork neck will provide you with good marbling while the shoulder is a little leaner. I also like using pork tenderloin for the tender lean meat that remains juicy if cooked correctly.

How to make Char Siu

  1. Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Place the pork meat in a Ziploc bag. Pour in the marinade and shake to completely cover the meat with sauce. Marinate overnight up to 2 days. How to make Char Siu
  3. Take the pork out of the fridge and transfer the pork to the grilling tray. Set the marinating sauce aside. Roast the marinated pork in a preheated oven at 300°F / 150°C for 20-30 minutes with the tray placed in the middle position.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the basting sauce. Strain out the used marinating sauce and heat in a saucepan over low fire.How to make Char Siu
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and stir until it gets thick. Remove from heat and mix in the honey.
  6. Baste one side of the pork and broil until it gets a bit darker and sides slightly charred. Do the same on the other side.How to make Char Siu

Char Siu Pork with rice and Pak Choi

 

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Char Siu Pork

Char Siu (Chinese Sticky BBQ Pork)

Char Siu is roasted or barbecued pork from Cantonese cuisine usually sticky, sweet and savory. Try this Char Siu recipe and learn to make it from scratch.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian,Chinese
Keyword: char siu,char siu recipe,Chinese Pork BBQ
Servings: 6
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin - or pork neck, belly or shoulder (See NOTE 1)

FOR MARINADE

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 3 cloves garlic - - finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Thai bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cooking sherry - or brandy
  • 2 teaspoon liquid red food color - - (optional) or use red bean curd like for the authentic Char Siu

BASTING SAUCE

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch - - dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wash pork and tap dry with a paper towel and set aside.
  • Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix well.
  • Place the pork meat in a Ziploc bag or any freezer plastic bag. Pour the marinade and shake to make sure that meat is completely covered by sauce. Seal and place the bag in the fridge and let it marinate for at least a day, better for 2 days.
  • When ready to cook, take the pork out of the fridge and transfer the pork to the grilling tray. Set the marinating sauce aside. Roast the marinated pork in a preheated oven at 300°F / 150°C for 20-30 minutes with the tray placed in the middle position. See NOTE 1.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the basting sauce. Strain out the used marinating sauce to remove the coarse bits and heat in a saucepan over low fire. Once it starts to simmer, add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and stir until it gets thick. Remove from heat and mix in the honey.
  • Baste one side of the pork and move the tray on the top position turning oven settings to broil. Broil the pork until it gets a bit darker and sides slightly charred. Do the same on the other side.
  • Once done, cut into thin slices and serve with rice, noodle or steamed buns. You may also pour some of the basting sauce on top or serve it as a dipping sauce.

RECIPE NOTES

NOTE 1- If using pork neck, belly or shoulder, it might take longer it roast (up to an hour). If using these cuts, cut them in long but thinner pieces.
 
Nutrition Facts
Char Siu (Chinese Sticky BBQ Pork)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 545mg 23%
Potassium 649mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 12g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 0.3%
Vitamin C 1.2%
Calcium 2.3%
Iron 12.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

This recipe was originally published in 2015. Updated on June 2019 for a better and easier recipe using five-spice and to include new photos.

 

 

Char Siu is roasted or barbecued pork from Cantonese cuisine usually sticky, sweet and savory. Try this Char Siu recipe and learn to make it from scratch. | www.foxyfolksy.com #recipe #foxyfolksy #chinesefood #pork

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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