Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) Recipe
Try this Chinese-style grilled pork with a sweet-and-sour marinade next time you break out the charcoal grill.
With its impressive high-gloss appearance and savory taste, Chef John's Chinese barbeque pork is easy to make at home--even without a fancy ceramic grill.
Pork belly is marinated in a soy sauce-based mixture then broiled until dark and glossy in this Chinese char siu, or barbequed pork, recipe.
My husband mostly made this recipe since he is the grill man. He followed the recipe ingredients including some good shakes of the Chinese five spice, garlic powder, and onion powder. We marinated our tenderloins for 8 hours (cutting the two into four 2-inch thick loins). He cooked this on the charcoal grill over indirect heat as directed, but He kept the water pan in the whole time. The loins being only 2 inches thick reached 145° in 40 minutes, so watch your time. I cooked the remaining marinade on the stove-top, adding in some cornstarch to thicken it and he basted the meat. Next time I'll make a batch and half of the sauce, it really was great tasting, but we really had to stretch it. We served over white rice with broccoli, all a great combination. Just a note, if you have a green egg cooker, there is a YouTube video on how you can cook this like the Cantonese do by hanging it in your grill.
I like this recipe and have made it three times, with modifications the second and third time. Some observations: Chinese use pork butt for Char Siu because we love the fat and it really is part and parcel to the authentic dish. That said, I used tenderloin the first time, pork sirloin roast the second, and pork shoulder the last. The latter/fatter cut was better in flavor and juiciness, but of course, less healthy. I do like pretty red colored char siu but against my better judgement, I used the full 2 tablespoons of food color which was huge overkill. I went with 1 tablespoon the second time and it was still way too much and stained my cutting board. Food coloring is terrible for our bodies so cut it way back, or not at all, or as suggested, substitute red bean paste or boil down some beets if you want it red. I also like five spice, but take care how much you use. It will overpower all other ingredients. I suggest 1/2 teaspoon or less. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade for non-cross contaminated basting
love it on the grill. However, I've been kind of lazy lately and broiled it in my toaster oven. I followed the marinade, placed the pork in a ziplock, marinated for at least 3 days on accident, made it extra tasty. The only substitute was really teriyaki instead of soy, makes it more sweet, less salty. I also don't like ketchup, used some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce instead and then reduced the brown sugar. I don't usually measure everything, just kind of eyeball it, but am usually pretty close. Between broiling in the toaster oven and the gas grill, can't really tell much of a difference. 15 minutes on broil makes it pretty glazed in the toaster, no need to flip, but you clean up and cook time is a little easier. If I'm making a lot for many, I bust out the charcoal grill and it really steps it up a notch.
This Char Siu recipe works BEAUTIFULLY with the "Baked Fried Rice" recipe found on this site. Simply take 6 to 10 half-inch to one-inch slices of boneless pork chops, use a Jaccard ( you passionate at-home chefs know what I mean here ) or meat tenderizer mallet on each slice before placing in the marinating bag. Following step 2: TRIPLE the sauce for marinating ( OVER-NIGHT ) and saving the reserve ( in a separate container ) for basting, dipping AND pouring a generous amount on the last step of the mentioned "Baked Fried Rice" recipe. Defintely will make this again!!
I will try it again using the proper meat. I had a pork loin that I needed to do something with...I t was good, but not what I was going for.
I made this as the directions and ingredients suggest except I couldn't put on the grill. I pan fried each piece then placed in a 350 oven for 30mins and then under the broiler for 5 minutes .. my husband loved it and I have to admit it gave Paul's Kitchen , in Los Angeles, a run for the money.