It’s called Char Siu. (Pronounced “Char Sue”) But we know it as Chinese BBQ Pork and it’s one of the most popular items on a Chinese restaurant menu.
I never thought of making it at home; it seemed complicated and intimidating.
But when I finally decided to give it a try, I quickly found it is neither. It’s a fun, simple dish that ends up tasting exactly like the restaurant version!
While it seems as though there are a lot of ingredients, it’s mostly inexpensive bottles of things like soy sauce, molasses, honey, rice wine vinegar – all things you can keep in your refrigerator so you can make this dish many times, which, I think you will.
As far as the steps, it’s basically whisking the marinade ingredients, pouring it over the pork, refrigerating it overnight and then cooking it up! It’s that simple.
The most important step is making sure you buy pork shoulder, as tenderloin is too lean.
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (select a piece with some good fat on it)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon five spice powder
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons molasses
1/8 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
3 cloves finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon hot water
Cut the pork into long strips or chunks about 3 inches thick and 7 inches long.
Place pork in a glass casserole dish.
In a bowl, add sugar, salt, five spice powder, white pepper, sesame seed oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, molasses, honey, red food coloring, water and minced garlic. Whisk to combine.
Reserve about 3 tablespoons of marinade and set it aside. Pour the remainder of the marinade over the pork, turning the pork over to thoroughly coat all pieces.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Cover and store the reserved marinade in the fridge as well. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place a cookie cooling rack or roasting rack inside a sheet pan. Place the marinated pork on the roasting rack. Pour 1 cup of water into the baking sheet below the rack to prevent any drippings from burning the pan. (If you don’t have a roasting rack, line the baking sheet with foil and place the pork on the foil, eliminating the water.)
Bake for 20 minutes. Turn pork over and bake for another 20 minutes. Brush reserved marinade over the pork and cook for another 5 minutes. (Do not use the liquid that the pork was marinating in.) Remove from the oven and baste with the last bit of reserved marinade if any. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with rice and veggies.