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Char Siu

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Char Siu







Total Time

Total Time

Prep 06 H 00 M / Cook 40 M



2 Servings
Grace Teo
Grace Teo   thegraceteo
Published on November 25, 2013

  Based on 3625 ratings  Watch Now


'Char Siu' or Chinese barbecued pork is one of the most delicious meat dish. Authentic 'char siu' is made with particular pork cuts marinated with a mixture of sauces, condiments and aromatics. The meat is then glazed and roasted using the marinade which plays the most important role in resulting a perfect piece of 'char siu'. However, choosing the right pork cuts also makes a difference to the taste.

Why is 'char siu' red?

In many Hong Kong, Singaporean or Malaysian restaurants, 'char siu' has a hint of redness to it. It comes from the red food colouring to give it a nice shade. The red tone causes the 'char siu' to be reddish around the edges and is visible when it is cut into slices. For a natural shade of colouring, red fermented tofu is used instead in this recipe.

Which pork cut is best for 'char siu'?

Depends on your preference. The best cut to use is the pork butt which is also known as boston butt located on the back of the pig, just behind the head. Pork butt is popular for making 'char siu' as it contains a good amount of marbled fats and connective tissues. When grilled or roasted slowly, the fats and connective tissues melt resulting in delicious flavours.

Pork belly on the other hand results in a more fatty 'char siu'. If you are looking for leaner 'char siu', go for pork loin which has less fat.

For me, the best part of the 'char siu' are the edges that are slightly charred during the roasting process. These makes the meat more fragrant. As it roasts in the oven, the honey mixture is absorbed creating a layer of sweet and savoury coating on the meat, thus making it lips-smacking good.

'Char siu' may be eaten as it is or together with wan tan noodles or rice. Enjoy this dish with some pickled chilies or chili garam if you need a spicy dip. For this recipe, I used the oven to roast the 'char siu' but it would be best if you barbecued it over a charcoal fire. The smoky flavour would further enhanced the taste of the meat.

Char Siu is also known as: Char SiewChinese Roasted BBQ Pork叉燒

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  • 170 grams pork


  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 0.5 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 0.5 teaspoons five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoons rose wine  
  • 1 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove(s)
  • 1 cubes red tofu (fermented)  

Steps to Prepare


Step 1:

Add ingredients (B) except garlic and fermented tofu into a pan. Cook at low heat until sauce thickens. Then, add fermented tofu and crushed garlic to the marinade. Mix well.


Step 2:

Lightly poke the pork shoulder using a fork. Place pork in a bowl or a zip lock bag and add the marinade. Make sure that the pork is well coated. Leave pork to marinate overnight.


Step 3:

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place marinated pork on a tray and cover with a piece of aluminium foil. Remove the aluminium foil after 15 minutes and glaze the pork with the excess marinade.


Step 4:

Increase heat to 250 degrees Celsius and let the pork cook for 15 minutes. Further glaze the pork and let it cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Cut 'char siu' into slices before serving.