Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Over the last little while I have been craving some char siu bao or Chinese bbq pork buns and it was finally time to satisfy that craving. Of course the first step to making the char siu bao was to make the cha siu or Chinese bbq pork. Char siew is actually pretty easy to make, you simply marinate the meat in a sauce that is flavoured primarily with hoisin sauce and a hint of five spice. After marinating you roast the pork and then broil it for a few minutes to get a slightly charred and crispy outside. Given that you are roasting the pork in the oven I recommend using a fattier cut of pork like the butt or the shoulder. A pork tenderloin is wasted for this and it can end up being a little on the dry side. Once the pork has finished roasting it is served sliced thinly. Char siu is commonly a bright red colour and you can feel free to add some red food colouring to the marinade if you like. I served my char siu on rice along with some steamed bok choy in an oyster sauce with fried shallots.

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

(makes 4+ servings)
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons xiao hsing wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon garlic (grated, optional)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated, optional)
1 (2 pound) pork butt or shoulder (cut into long slices about 1 inch thick)

1. Mix all of the ingredients, brush half of the mixture over the pork and let marinate, in the fridge, for a few hours to over night.
2. Roast in a preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes.
3. Flip, marinate and roast for another 30 minutes.
4. Turn on the broiler and broil for 5 minutes on each side.
5. Let rest for 10 minutes, slice thinly and serve with remaining sauce.

Similar Recipes:
Pineapple Char Siu Pulled Pork Sliders
Mu Shu Pork
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw
Bacon Wrapped Roast Pork with Apple Chutney
Tacos al Pastor
Mongolian Beef

Use in:
Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns)
Quick and Easy Chinese Hot and Sour Soup


theurbanwifey said...

Thanks for this recipe. I made chinese BBQ pork one time before and for the life of me could never find the recipe again. I will definately be making this again.

smalltownoven said...

Mmm this looks soooo good. I'm getting better and better at shopping in our local Asian market so perhaps it won't take me too long to find all these ingredients!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Oh. Nice. I've never tried making it myself before!

Julie said...

Looks so fabulous and flavorful...and I love that it's easy as a bonus!

Esi said...

I've had homemade char siu on my to-make list for a while. This version sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I think you were Chinese in your last life!


Ali @ Gimme Some Oven said...

Oh my goodness -- I've wanted to learn how to make this for YEARS!!! Literally - my family had Chinese food every Saturday for lunch growing up, and for 15 years, I always ordered BBQ pork fried rice. (Apparently I didn't branch out much!) But have never tried making it myself.

Definitely bookmarking this one. Thanks, Kevin!

the blissful baker said...

this looks really flavorful and delicious! i've never char siu before, but it looks simple enought to make!

Rosetta said...

Complimenti, bella ricetta.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, that is such a delicious speciality!



Distilled said...

This sounds awesome. I imagine I'll have trouble getting xiao hsing wine - can you recommend an alternative?

Joanne said...

I looovee bbq pork buns but have never tried to make them myself! This pork sounds like it's perfectly flavored!

Nisrine, Dinners and Dreams said...

It looks totally delicious.I'm in the mood for Asian flavors lately. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


This looks really delicious and I will have to try it. But I want to say that I don't think the red color comes from food coloring. I think it come from red yeast rice. It is a culture that is grown on the rice.

Kelly said...

Mmmm. I love Char Siu atop a nice noodle soup or rice dish. Bookmarking this!

Jan said...

Looks lovely!

Sis said...

I'm going to have to try this, it looks so good! I have a favorite recipe from a Vietnamese cooking blog but I am always willing to give another recipe a shot! lol

mycookinghut said...

This is my all time favourite!

Le Blog Piquant said...

That looks awesome! I'll put this on my "to do" list :D

Anonymous said...

just use Mirin if you cant get xiao hsing wine, although I dont think most asian grocers will ask for your ID when you buy cooking wine.

Mrs M said...

Oh this looks delicious! I will definitely try this.

susan said...

I love bbq pork with rice. I have made it once before, but it's never as good as the ones you can buy from the bbq shop. Always serve mine with rice, asian greens and sriracha. Heaven in a bowl!

Oksana Lanis of Details by Oksana said...

that looks sooo good :-)

Verve.IS.served said...


Your recipes are simple to prepare, but exciting and jam packed with flavor. Where do you get your inspiration from?


The Klutzy Cook said...

I've been meaning to make this forever - my Dad used to make it all the time. I'm inspired to get my act together now - thanks. It looks great.

Kevin said...

Distilled: You can substitute mirin, sake or a sherry for the xiao hsing wine.

thecompletecookbook said...

What a fabulous and flavourful recipe - SUPERB!
:-) Mandy

Kevin said...

COSMIC ARCATA: You are correct! Traditionally red yeast rice is used to get the red colour. It would be worth the trip to Chinatown to get it but if you cannot find it you can easily skip it as its flavour is very mild and it is mostly used for the red colouring.

Rianne said...

Where do you go in toronto for the xiao hsing wine? I tried to find it once for a differente recipe and came up empty.

quadri said...

I hate you T.T I'm actually at work while looking at your blog and my mouth is watering and I'm so hungry!!!
The dishes are totally what I prefer!!! Rice + vegetables+ meat and maybe some soya sauce
aaargh you are a genius totally trying some of your recipes ;)

Kevin said...

Rianne: The easiest place to get it is Chinatown and I have seen it at the specialty small shop in the lower level at the Saint Lawrence Market.

Sarah said...

What a wonderful pics of Char Siu you have here.
Perhaps you're interested to submit your food photos on a food photography site that has tagline "Food Photography that will make you hungry" :)
It's free to submit, free to join, and a lot of members can enjoy your creation!

Quadri etnici said...

I love chinese food, overmore if combine modern with tradition.
thank you for idea!

Dipinti said...

My wife is chinese - we tried it yesterday and loved it.
Well done!

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