Chinese Barbecued Pork (Char Siu) served in Chinese restaurants is so easy to make at home and would be a great way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
With its sweet and savory marinade, this succulent pork dish is a culinary delight. And if you are worried this classic Chinese dish is too complicated to make at home, think again. With this simple recipe, you can make your own version with easy to find ingredients and minimal effort.
This recipe is from Martin Yan's Feast: The Best of Yan Can Cook (affiliate link), one of my favorite cookbooks. For those of you that didn't have a mom that took over the TV on Saturday afternoons to watch cooking shows on PBS, Yan Can Cook featured Yan teaching his audience the intricacies of Chinese cuisine.
He was kind of goofy, as I recall, but I do love his recipes. Mom even got me an autographed copy of the book which I still have and use regularly. If you want a great, easy to follow cookbook with authentic Chinese recipes, I highly recommend you pick this one up.
Ingredients for Char Siu
I know the marinade looks like a lot of ingredients, but each one adds to the amazing flavor of the dish.
- pork shoulder or butt
- low sodium tamari or soy sauce
- hoisin sauce
- rice wine vinegar or other mild clear vinegar
- sesame oil
- tahini (sesame seed paste)
- sugar (or other sweetener)
- grated orange peel (fresh is best, or 1 teaspoon dried)
- minced garlic (fresh is best, or ⅓ teaspoon dried)
- minced ginger (fresh is best, or ⅓ teaspoon dried)
- Chinese five-spice
- red food coloring (optional)
The original recipe calls for pork shoulder or butt, however I usually end up using a pork tenderloin to make it a bit less fatty.
You should be able to easily find the hoisin, sesame oil and tahini in the Asian section of a well stocked grocery store.
Chinese five spice, along with the hoisin, is essential for this dish. You can make your own with star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and Szechuan pepper (or black pepper).
On a final note, I almost never add the food coloring. Mine doesn't have that bright red color of the restaurant version, but the same great taste.
More Cookbook Favorites from #OurFamilyTable
We are sharing some of our favorite recipes from cookbooks this week:
Creating from Cookbooks
- Homemade Graham Crackers from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Maple Cinnamon Acorn Squash from Jen Around the World
- Smoked Provolone and Thyme Muffins from Blogghetti
- Turkey and Barley Soup from Palatable Pastime
- 3 pound pork shoulder or butt
- ¼ cup soy sauce (preferably low sodium)
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice
- 1 tablespoon sesame seed paste (optional)
- 4-5 drops red food coloring (optional)
- Trim pork of excess fat and cut into slices approximately 8 x 3 x 1 inch (about the size of your hand).
- Combine all remaining ingredients for marinade. Pour over pork slices in a large bowl or large zip to lock plastic bag. Marinate 4 hours to overnight, turning meat occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil (or a rimmed baking pan with rack placed inside).
- Place meat on the rack, reserve marinade for basting.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turn over and brush with reserved marinade. Bake for 30-45 minutes longer until pork is cooked to at least 145℉, basting occasionally.
- Remove pork from oven and tent with aluminum foil for 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices before serving.
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More Take Out at Home Recipes
Until next time, happy eating!