Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Chinese Barbecued Pork (Char Siu)

Char Siu barbecued pork is a quintessential component of Cantonese cuisine and is often seen hanging on hooks in the display case/window of many a Chinese BBQ joint such as Sam Woo's here in SoCal. This version, which I improvised from several recipes, is pretty straightforward, tender and flavorful. Great sliced or diced and served with steamed rice, fried rice, soup, or incorporated into the filling for the ubiquitous Dim Sum fav "Char Siu Bao."

1 pork butt/shoulder or 4 pork tenderloins


2 tbsp. rice wine
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. honey or maltose
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. five spice powder
1 clove garlic, grated or 1 tsp. powdered garlic
3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)

1. Trim the pork shoulder of excess fat, then cut lengthwise into 3-4 logs. If using pork tenderloins, no need to cut them as they are on the small side. Pierce the meat on all sides with a fork. 

3. Place the pork strips and marinade into a large Ziploc type bag. Add all the marinade ingredients to the bag and massage the bag gently to incorporate the marinade into the pork. Carefully squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible, then close. Place the bag flat down in the frig and let marinate at least 5 hours but preferably overnight, turning the bag several times. 

4. After marinating, take the bag o' pork out of the frig and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400F. 

5. Place a rack over a shallow baking pan. 

6. Remove the meat from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and place on top of the rack. Brush the top of the meat with some of the reserved marinade.

7. Roast the pork for about 15 minutes, turn over, brush with more marinade, and roast another 15 minutes or until the internal temp is 160F. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes.

8. Place the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; cook for about 1 minute and then remove from the heat. 

9. Thinly slice the pork and plate. Serve with extra marinade on the side. 

Some of the marinade ingredients: rice wine, ketchup, soy sauce, dark soy, honey, 
sesame oil, white pepper, and hoisin sauce.

Trim the fat off the pork shoulder and cut lengthwise 3-4 logs (depending on 
the size of the shoulder).

You can also use 4 smaller pork tenderloins. 

Prick the meat with a fork on all sides.

Place the pork and marinade into a large Ziploc bag, then massage the outside of the bag with your hands to incorporate the ingredients well. Carefully squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible, then zip to close. Place the bag in the frig and let marinate for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight, turning the bag over several times. 

 Preheat oven to 400F. Place the marinated meat on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.

Roast the pork for 15 minutes, turn over and brush with more of the reserved marinade, and roast another 15 minutes or until the internal temp has reached 160F. Remove the pork from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. 

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