Daily Cooking Quest

Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

My parents house in Jakarta is only three doors away from a superb family restaurant selling char siu - Chinese glazed roast pork and siu yuk - Chinese crispy skin roast pork. Whenever I have the chance to visit my parents, I always make sure to drop by and buy loads! But I can only fly home so many times, and thus, must find a reliable recipe to reproduce my favorite food. This is, by far, my favorite recipe for char siu. I will be the first to admit that my neighbor’s version is still better, but for a home made version, this is the best I can manage for now. :D

Char Siu Marinade

Char Siu Marinade

The first step in making char siu is preparing the marinade, and these are what I include: brown sugar, honey, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, five spice powder, oil, preserved bean curd, shaoxing wine, rose water. If you cannot find all the listed ingredients, I suggest to only omit rose water and preserved bean curd, and try to keep everything else intact.

Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

Pork cuts and marinating time

The pork cuts used by most Chinese restaurants for making char siu is the neck part. But since pork neck might not be as easy to find compared to other cuts, you can use other cuts too. I have tried this with pork shoulder, pork sirloin, and pork tenderloin. All cuts produce very acceptable result, and nobody has yet to point out something is wrong when I use one cut over the other. Regardless of the cut you use, be sure to marinade for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Even if you are pressed for time, please marinate for a minimum of 8 hours.

Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

Roasting tool

If you can, you want to roast your char siu in a foil lined baking sheet topped with a wire rack. I find that elevating the pork with a rack helps to get a better color overall because the meat doesn’t lay flat directly on the baking sheet. Regardless, the final taste and texture are pretty much comparable whether you use a wire rack or not.

Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

The recipe

Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins

Serves: 8


  • Char siu marinade
  • 4 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (*)
  • 1/2 tablespoon rose water (*)
  • 1 cube (~ 1 tablespoon) preserved bean curd
  • Other ingredients
  • 1 1/2 kilogram (~ 3 lbs.) pork (neck/shoulder/sirloin/tenderloin)
  • 2 tablespoon honey


  1. Mix all char siu marinade, and transfer to a mixing bowl/large zip lock bag. Add pork pieces to the sauce, and marinade for 24-48 hours, at least 8 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 160 Celsius (320 Fahrenheit). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a wire rack on top.
  3. Arrange pork over wire rack and roast (bake) for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pour the remaining marinade into a small sauce pot along with the 2 tablespoon of honey. Cook over medium heat until boiling, then cook further until syrup consistency, about 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat. This is our basting sauce.
  5. Remove the pork from oven, baste with basting sauce, flip to the other side, and baste again. Roast again for another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the pork from oven, baste with sauce, flip, and baste. This time roast for 20 minutes, and you may want to tent with a foil if it starts to char too quickly.
  7. Finally, remove the pork from the oven, baste the surface, and put it back to the oven for a final 10 minutes roast. It should caramelized nicely and glazed with sticky sauce.
  8. Take the pork out from the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes, then slice into bite size pieces.


  • (*) Or you can use 1 1/2 tablespoon Chinese rose wine, instead of 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine + 1/2 tablespoon rose water. If you don't have rose water, increase the shaoxing wine to 1 1/2 tablespoon.


  • Karla says:

    Thank you show much for sharing all these great Indonesian recipes! My husband is from Bali he has been in the US for 13 years. Whenever he get homesick I like to make him Indonesian food and while I've learned a few dishes it's always nice to have more options. I know Martabak, nasi goreng, mie goreng, corn fritter, soto ayam and acar. Lol but that's it! And im sure they get boring to him after a while. Do you have a recipe for pisang goreng? I know he loved eating that at home but every recipe I find is not like the one from Bali. Anyways thank you so much I can't wait to try all of these recipes.

    • Anita says:

      Hi Karla, thanks for the lovely comment! I do have a pisang goreng recipe. Although it is okay to use regular cavendish banana, it is better if you can find saba banana to make pisang goreng. Cheers.

  • Melia says:

    Hi Anita, I tried this recipe, its delicious. I’m from Indonesia and its nice to be able to eat homemade. Food from Indonesia. 1 question though, the meat turn out brown in color instead of more reddish like store bought kind. Is there anything that I can add to add this red hue color? Thanks

    • Anita says:

      Hi Melia, thank you for trying out the recipe! The color depends the preserved bean curd, and it can be quite weak. If you want a more guaranteed approach, you can either use angkak (red yeast rice), or red food coloring. I hate using food coloring, so if I want my char siu to be as red as the one sold in restaurants, I use angkak. Soak 1 tablespoon (or even up to 1.5 tablespoon) of angkak in hot water for 1 minute, drain, then grind in a food processor and mix with the rest of the marinating ingredients to marinate the pork.

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