Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)


Siu mei (燒味) is a generic term for Cantonese roast meat and there are many varieties of this Hong Kong favorite,  examples include roasted goose (siu ngo/燒鵝), roasted duck (siu arp/燒鴨), BBQ pork (char siu/叉燒) and crispy skin roasted pork (siu yuk/燒肉). Quick and yummy siu mei rice boxes are very common meals for Hongkies, and I’ve definitely had my fair share over the years. Siu mei is also common as an additional take-out dish for family dinners.

I suppose char siu is one of the more iconic roast meats as it can be simply eaten over rice or can be used in many dishes such as fried rice or BBQ pork buns. Char siu is definitely my favorite roast meat.

For those who have attempted to make char siu at home, most likely have tried to make it with the Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce. But if you have tried this, you would know that the result tastes nothing like the ones you buy in siu mei shops. 2 years ago I took a cooking course at Towngas which changed my mind about being able to create store-bought char siu at home.

I promise you, if you follow the Towngas recipe to the T, you will get sweet, succulent and sticky char siu. You won’t need to roast your pork with a fork over open fire, all you will need is just an oven with some Chinese sauces. Your dinner guests will probably think you bought the char siu!

Oh, and leftover char siu goes great with instant noodles as a midnight snack!

Char Siu

600g pork loin or boneless pork shoulder
4 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp light soya sauce*
1/2 tbsp ginger juice
1 tbsp Mei Kuei Lu Chiew*
1 tbsp soya bean paste/ground bean sauce*
1 tbsp hoi sin paste*
1/2 tbsp shallots (chopped)
Red food coloring (optional)

Cut the pork loin into 2 long strips (4cm thick x 6cm wide).  Clean and pat dry with paper towels.

Mix the marinade together in a large bowl and add the pork loin to the marinade and mix. Allow to marinade in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 220C.

Wrap a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the pork loin on the baking tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes on each side.

Brush with honey on one side and roast for another 3-5 minutes, turn the pork loin and repeat.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting.

*See photo above for the sauces to use. Please drop me a comment if you any questions about the sauces.

Source: Towngas

3 thoughts on “Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

  1. Mmmm, I love char sui, I always get it from the Asian supermarkets to put on my ramen. Thanks for posting this recipe, I’ll really have to try and make my own one of these days.

  2. Pingback: Interview with Salt & Chili | bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong

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