Saturday 9 October 2010


On busy days,  the easiest thing for me to do is to put something in the oven because you can simply leave it to cook and get on with the other things.

I have a pork shoulder in the fridge which I decided to make into Char Siu or Chinese barbecue pork. This is my favourite among the Chinese roast meats. I can't resist ordering a portion even if I can easily make it at home.

Char siu so good with rice or with noodles in soup. Leftovers can be use for stir fries and noodles dishes. It is so versatile. You'll be quite surprised at how easy it is to make it.

This homemade version of char sou has no artificial colouring and is not the usual bright red char siu pork from restaurants. However, the mixture of soy sauce, sherry and sugar gives it a reddish colour and tint. The caramelisation of those seasonings also gives it a cured ham-like taste. The best part is the charred crisp edges which contrasts with the succulent, tender meat. I hope you do try out this very easy recipe.


600 gms. shoulder of pork cut in two whole strips
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tsps. of salt
2 tsps. of light soy sauce
1 tbsp. of Chinese wine or dry sherry
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsps. honey


In a shallow dish, mix the sugar, salt, soy sauce, wine or sherry and sesame oil. 

Cut slashes on opposite sides of the pork so that the marinade goes into the meat. 

Put the pork in the marinade and coat very well with the mixture. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for 30 minutes. The pork will change to a pinker colour.

Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 180° C. 

Line a sturdy roasting pan with non-stick liner or foil. Lay the pork in the lined pan and roast for an hour, turning occasionally and basting with the juices. 

When done, brush all over with the honey. Let rest for ten minutes before slicing. It is usually served with chilli oil.

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  1. That is one beautiful glaze recipe you have!

  2. I could live on char siu, your recipe and cooking method is slightly different to mine but looks delicious.

    I'll be making your garlic, chilli oil soon though.

  3. I wonder why my pork didn't look as good as yours, mine was white. How can I get the right color?

    1. The combination of sugar, soy and sherry in the marinade gives the pork a reddish tinge when roasted. Commercial char siu pork has colouring added to it. This version just naturally turns reddish brown after roasting due to the seasoning and the caramelization on roasting. Make sure that you have the proper ingredients and oven temperature.


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