This Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) recipe features a sweet, thick marinade that doubles as a dipping sauce. Now you can make this Chinatown favorite in your own kitchen! You won’t believe how easy this recipe is!
Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) is arguably one of the most popular Chinese foods anywhere in the world. A Chinatown favorite! You’ll often see long strips of Char Siu hanging beside Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (Siew Yoke) in Cantonese restaurants as well as food carts that sell Chinese BBQ Pork and Crispy Roasted Pork Belly Rice. Chinese BBQ Pork is usually quick to sell out because it’s so popular! Everybody loves the sweet, charred glaze and the tender meat of Chinese BBQ Pork.
Most of us are familiar with the bright (almost neon) red Chinese BBQ Pork sold in most supermarkets. This recipe blows that completely out of the water. This Cantonese version is often served with rice, but can also be served as an appetizer or at your next potluck! This dish is so versatile.
The best part is that it’s so incredibly easy to make! It does take several hours to marinade so you’ll want to plan ahead when making this dish, but putting it together is easy-peasy!
The typical cuts of pork for Char Siu is pork shoulder (specifically the shoulder blade as it has a little bit more marbling), pork belly (a lot more pork fat) or pork tenderloin (very lean but very tender). Personally, I feel that pork shoulder blade is the ideal cut for Char Siu. You get a good amount of pork meat with a good ratio of fat – just enough to keep the pork tender but not make you feel guilty 🙂 That’s the cut I used here in this post’s photographs.
You’ll need 1 1/2 pounds of pork for this recipe. Cut them lengthwise into approximately 2 – 3 inch strips.
Prepare the marinade in a mixing bowl: combine 1/4 cup of honey, 3 tablespoons of Chinese Rice Wine, 3 Tablespoons of Light Soy Sauce, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of Dark Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice Powder, 1 teaspoon of red food coloring(optional), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 minced cloves of garlic.
Cover the pork with the marinade, making sure that each piece of pork meat is thoroughly coated. A great way to do this is to put the marinade and pork in to a large Ziploc bag, seal the bag shut, then gently massage it. Allow the pork to marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
Normally, Chinese BBQ Pork is cooked over the grill (duh…that’s why they call it BBQ), but we’re going to roast and broil it in the oven because it’s much more convenient and it works just as well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the top of a baking tray with aluminum foil, then place a metal cooling/baking rack on top of the foil. Take the pork out of the marinade but don’t toss the marinade liquid!! Line the pork on the metal rack, then place the baking tray in the oven on the top rack (nearest the broiler).
Roast for 10 minutes, take out the tray to turn the meat over, then roast for another 10 minutes.
Then, switch your oven to the “Broil” function. This broiling process is what allows the meat to char (I looove those crispy caramelized charred bits!!). This should only take about 5 minutes on each side. Keep a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn. A little bit of charring is okay but not the whole piece!
Allow the pork to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
While waiting on the pork, prepare the dipping sauce. Simply pour all of the leftover marinade liquid in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until it thickens just a bit.
Serve with steamed white rice and dipping sauce on the side, or enjoy on its own 🙂
Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu)
- 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder blade pork belly or pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
Cut the pork lengthwise into 2 - 3 inch strips
Prepare the marinade by combining honey, rice wine, light soy sauce, brown sugar, dark soy sauce, Chinese 5 spice powder, red food coloring (optional), salt and garlic.
Marinade the pork for at least 3 hours up to overnight in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line baking tray with aluminum foil, then place a metal cooling/roasting rack on top of the foil.
Remove the pork from the marinade (don't discard the marinade!) and place them on the metal rack.
Place the baking tray on the top rack in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, turn the meat over, then roast for another 10 minutes.
Switch the oven to "Broil" function. Allow to broil for about 5 minutes on each side.
Let the pork rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Dipping sauce: Pour the remaining marinade liquid in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened.
Cut the pork into thin slices. Serve with rice and dipping sauce on the side, or enjoy on its own 🙂