Saturday, February 15, 2014

Char siu - Chinese barbecued pork

So , how's your Valentine's Day date ?

Me ?! Sadly ......

I drowned my sorrow by making char siu lol

Read more about char siu at Wiki .

The last time I've made char siu was 2 years ago and I used Lee Lum Kee char siu sauce . Now before you say , bottled sauce ?! It tastes good actually and the taste closely resembled to the char siu here in Hongkong . I like it but not that much .

Though the not-so picky taste tester here prefer homemade char siu made from bottled sauce over this made from scratch marinade *gasp*

There's no accounting for taste , hee hee ! 

I've got this recipe from Alvin aka Chef and Sommelier , one of my favorite Singaporean bloggers . I've been eyeing his recipe since he posted it in May last year and had to stick my xeroxed recipe on our kitchen wall as a reminder . You should see our kitchen wall , several recipes sticking here and there  -__-

I have another 2 char siu recipe that I've been planning to make ( hopefully ?! ) but ditched the other one since it calls for 5 pounds of pork ugh ! That's good if you're making it for a party but I'm only feeding 2 person . I lifted two ingredients from this book and added them to Alvin's recipe .

Here in HK , if you want to make char siu , you can ask the butcher that you want a cut of pork for making char siu and they'll give you that . In my case , I've selected the cut I usually buy when I make potstickers or steamed minced pork . There's this beautiful marbling of fat in that area and it's near the skin so there's some good old fat as well that's really good when charred . I don't really know which cut of pork is the one I usually buy .

The verdict ?! I'll let the photos do the talking .....

Now , now stop drooling ! It's really easy to make ! 

Recipe adapted from Chef and Sommelier ( Thanks , Alvin ! ) Please check out original recipe and instruction at his blog .

1 kg pork , cut into 3-inches wide and about 3/4-inches thick ( rough estimate )

For the marinade : 

1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tablespoon maltose syrup
2 cubes red fermented beancurd
2 tablespoon raw sugar
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder

* Wash and dry pork thoroughly .

* In a medium bowl , combine ingredients for the marinade and mix well . Add in the pork , use hands to coat each piece of pork and chill for at least 4 hours , preferably overnight . Try to stir the mixture from time to time . Remove the pork from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking . Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or use a roasting pan .

* Preheat oven to 200°C . Transfer char siu the marinated pork to the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes each on both sides . Baste the top twice with some of the marinade from the pan . If you want a nicely charred surface , turn oven temperature to the highest setting , move the wire rack 3-inches above the heat source ( I'm using a counter top oven ) and cook for about 2 minutes on both sides . Take out from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing .

* Serve with rice , what else ?! Or noodles or beer or whatever you fancy .


  1. My Valentine's day was a super busy day, cook till whole day, but I was happy to see all my family members enjoyed the foods that I prepared. So your Char Siew must be full of love, hehehe..

  2. I tried Alvin's recipe before too, and I really like the cooking method! This looks delicious!

  3. Wow! This looks really good Anne!
    My family loves Char Siew, So far I only make Char Siew from Zoe's recipe.
    I'll definitely try this out one day :D

  4. I miss char siu! Yours has turned out wonderful, Anne.

  5. very good, pity that I do not have all ingredients for the marinade

  6. I am drooling right down to that raw photo lol! Really looks delicious! Got to try this too!

  7. Looks nami! pwede na ibutang sa siopao :))

  8. I'm practically drooling...!! Have not taken my dinner yet, and my tummy is growling when looking at your char siu. It did not growl a minute ago! Got to give this a try one of these days!

  9. Anne, I love Alvin's char siu recipe but have yet to make it. Your char siu looks wonderfully delicious makes me want to buy pork tomorrow. ...must try!

  10. Looks good, i have gotta try this soon. This recipe has been getting raving reviews!

  11. Are there any substitutes for the (hard to find) ingredients in the marinade? This looks DEEEEEEELICIOUS but I don't think I can find some of those ingredients.

  12. Hi gabby , so sorry for the late reply ! Try to use the bottled char siu sauce first or if there's an Asian store nearby , I'm sure you can find most of the ingredients there , hopefully ? :D