Sunday, October 23, 2011

Char siew recipe

This is all time deliciously sinful bbq meat that every Asian household craves from time to time. It's lovely eaten with steamed white rice or wonton mee or even or it's own. I've done this recipe numerous times (thanks to Rasa Malaysia) and it has worked perfectly each time. However, I think this attempt might have been the best so far as the pork came out juicy and succulent and very moreish especially with the crispy caramelized bits. The pork that I used had just the right amount of fats and lean meat so every mouthful tasted like pure heaven. If you don't have a barbecue grill like me, you can broil it in the oven in the last 10-15 minutes to achieve the similar smoky charred effect. This marinade recipe is also good with pork ribs and chicken, I've even omitted shaoxing wine for halal guests and it still turned out rather well. It's a wonderful recipe that has been a favourite in my family so far; one that I will continue making in years to come.


1 lb pork butt (cut into 4 pieces)
3 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil

Char Siu (Char Siew) Sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoons maltose
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rose wine (玫瑰露酒)
3 dashes white pepper powder
3 drops red coloring (optional)
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Add all ingredients in the char siu sauce in a sauce pan, heat it up and stir-well until all blended and become slightly thickened and sticky. (It will yield 1/2 cup char siu sauce.) Transfer out and let cool.

Marinate the pork butt pieces with 2/3 of the char siu sauce and the chopped garlic overnight. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil into the remaining char siu sauce. Keep in the fridge.

The next day, heat the oven to 375 degree F and roast the char siu for 15 minutes (shake off the excess char siu sauce before roasting). Transfer them out of the oven and thread the char siu pieces on metal skewers and grill them over fire or broil it in the oven. Brush the remaining char siu sauce while grilling until the char siu are perfectly charred. Slice the char siu into bite-size pieces, drizzle the remaining char siu sauce over and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Cook’s Notes:

You don’t have to roast the pork in the oven if you use an outdoor grill. As I used the stove top to char the char siu, I roasted the char siu in the oven so they were cooked. It’s impossible to cook the char siu by using the stove top alone. You can roast the char siu thoroughly for 25-30 minutes in the oven. It’s best to use the S-shape hook and hang your char siu at the top layer of the oven, with a roasting pan or aluminum foil sheet at the bottom for the drips.

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