Char Siu (or Chinese BBQ pork), is one of the most popular pork dishes in Chinese/Cantonese cuisine and one of the most ordered dishes in restaurants. My addiction to this Sticky Chinese Barbecue Pork Belly is my husbands fault. Being a former Hong Kong resident, he introduced me to Char Siu when we first met…and it was love at first bite (with the pork).
Normally, our New Years Eve ritual consists of going to a popular Yum Cha restaurant here in Melbourne and ordering serve after serve of Char Siu. But as life happens, this year it’s a no-go. Booked out so early, (or I may have left it last minute), I now have to bring Char Siu into my house. Char Siu literally means “fork burn/roast” which is a reference to the traditional preparation, skewered with long forks and barbecued over a fire. Well. I have neither of those things nor do I want to start a fire in my house. But I have come up with a way to make this safely in your own homes without the need of any fire extinguishers.
The plus side is: A) We can eat triple what we normally do; and B) I can share the recipe with you.
Breaking out into a sweat with a furrowed brow, throwing ingredients into a bowl and taste testing along the way to try and match the traditional and authentic restaurant quality Char Siu sauce, I finally did it. It was a definite Hallelujah and Amen moment. After one (okay, more like four) tests and adjustments, you can bring a deliciously sticky Chinese pork recipe into your kitchens!
You can use lean pork belly (or spare) ribs for a succulent, unforgettable experience; pork shoulder or any pork fillet you like. I’m not going to tell you what to do, except cook it using pork belly.
For extra sauciness, I’ve provided an additional glaze recipe on the side for those who’d like to serve this up with extra sauce. Because…hellooo…extra sauce.
Oven grilling or broiling ensures the crispy and char-grilled outer edges we love so much, and a tender, juicy and moist pork meat on the inside.
With simple ingredients you may have in your kitchen cupboards, this Char Siu recipe is a breeze! And so worth the wait hanging off of the oven door, smelling the sweet, sticky smells drifting through the kitchen.
Serve over steamed rice or vegetables, and drizzle with extra Char Siu sauce…ring in the new year in style!
And if you’re not a fan of pork, try this with chicken thighs. Yes. I did that too. Or this Simple Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry might win you over.
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine (rice vinegar or a dry sherry can be used instead)
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¾ teaspoon red food colouring (optional for that beautiful red colour)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 6 pork belly/spare ribs
- 1 shallot, to garnish
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese wine (Shaoxing -- or dry sherry)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon red food colouring
- Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, wine, honey, sugar, garlic, colouring (if using) and spice powder in a shallow bowl. Whisk well to combine. Pour half of the sauce into a jug and reserve for later. Add the pork into the bowl with the remaining sauce. Rotate to cover completely and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight for best results.
- After marinading, preheat oven to grill/broil settings on medium heat (176°C | 350°F). Drain pork and discard the marinade. Line a baking pan with baking/parchment paper or aluminium foil. Place pork onto pan and grill/broil for 30 minutes on one side, basting two or three times with the reserved marinade. Rotate with tongs and baste again with the marinade twice again while grilling/broiling.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- If you like additional glaze, combine all of the (extra) glaze ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened (keep your eye on it as it can burn easily if the heat is too high). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Cut pork into thick slices to serve. Serve over steamed rice and/or vegetables with the extra glaze.
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