Thursday, November 5, 2009

Char Siu - Chinese BBQ Pork

Getting geared up to make my favorite Char Siu Bao tomorrow by whipping some Chinese barbecue pork. Sweet and smokey, this stuff blows away anything you could buy readymade. Lucky, there is plenty extra to slice up and munch on as a late snack.

Now, there are far simpler Char Siu recipes out there on the net, I know. I've noticed that mine is a bit lengthier than most (it gets longer each time I adjust it) but it is the one I like the best. I believe that this dish is typically made from a pork shoulder cut but I go for the loin simply because it is more convenient cut to obtain and trim.

Not so Humble's Char Siu:
2.5-3lbs pork loin cut into lengths approximately 1.5" thick x 6" long

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons seseme seed oil
3 teaspoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
2 inch piece of peeled ginger cut into small chuncks
2 teaspoons mirin
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder (optional)
couple drops of red food coloring (optional)

Puree all the above in a food processor until it is a smooth liquid. Place pork into a container or bag and add the pureed mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F and place the pork on foil lined pans (you'll thank me later when all those sugars caramelize) reserving the marinade. Cook for 30-40 minutes until pork reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

Take the marinade and place it into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of honey, soy sauce and ketchup and cook for about 6-7 minutes until it has darkened and thickened into the consistency expected of barbecue sauce. Baste the pork with the sauce occasionally while baking.

Remove from oven when done and allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.


  1. I am wondering what the difference is between soy sauce and dark soy sauce?

  2. Dark soy sauce is a different type of soy sauce. It is a thicker, darker, richer and has a different flavor. It is widely available at Asian supermarkets. Unfortunately however, it is rarely available at your average grocery store.


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