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Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

Make your own restaurant-quality Chinese pork char siu in your oven. Serve the glazed roast pork thinly sliced over steamed white rice or as toppings for noodles.
Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork.

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 homemade version, this is the best I can manage for now. :D

Ingredients for char siu marinade: brown sugar, honey, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, five-spice powder, oil, preserved bean curd, Shaoxing wine, and rose water.

Ingredients for char siu marinade: brown sugar, honey, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, five-spice powder, oil, preserved bean curd, Shaoxing wine, and rose water.

Char Siu Marinade

The first step in making char siu is preparing the marinade, and these are what I use:

If you cannot find all the listed ingredients, my suggestion is to omit rose water and preserved bean curd and try to keep everything else intact.

Arrange marinated pork on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Arrange marinated pork on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Choosing the right pork cuts for char siu

The pork cut used by most Chinese restaurants for making char siu is the neck part. The neck cut is not easy to find unless you buy it from an Asian/Chinese market, and I often use other pork cuts too.

I have tried this with pork shoulder, pork sirloin, and pork tenderloin. All cuts produce a very acceptable result, and nobody has yet to point out something is wrong when I use one pork cut over the other.

Regardless of the cut you use, be sure to marinate for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Even if you don’t have much time, please marinate for a minimum of 8 hours.

Boil the marinade and honey into a thick sauce. Use the sauce to baste the pork during roasting.

Boil the marinade and honey into a thick sauce. Use the sauce to baste the pork during roasting.

How to roast char siu in an oven

1. Roast the pork

Preheat oven to 160 Celsius (320 Fahrenheit). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a wire rack on top. Arrange pork over a wire rack and roast (bake) for 30 minutes.

TIPS: 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. The final taste and texture are pretty similar whether you use a wire rack or not, so don’t worry too much if you can’t prepare this exact setup.

2. Prepare basting sauce

Meanwhile, prepare the basting sauce. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepot along with the two tablespoons of honey. Cook over medium heat until boiling, then cook further until syrup consistency, about 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat.

3. Baste the pork

Remove the pork from the oven, baste with basting sauce, flip to the other side, and baste again. Roast again for another 30 minutes.

Remove the pork from the oven for the second time, 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.

Finally, remove the pork from the oven, baste the surface, and return it to the oven for a final 10 minutes roast. It should be caramelized nicely and glazed with sticky sauce.

Char siu just out from the oven, with a thick glossy glaze coating the pork.

Char siu just out from the oven, with a thick glossy glaze coating the pork.

Serving suggestion and storing leftovers

Once you take the roast pork out from the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes to settle the juices. Then, cut into thin bite-size slices for serving.

Char siu goes perfectly with rice or as noodle toppings. If you have any leftovers, you can use it as bread filling and make some delicious char siu milk bread or char siu steamed buns.

If you make too much char siu, you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze char siu for up to 3 months!

Rest the char siu for 15 minutes, then cut into bite-size slices to serve.

Rest the char siu for 15 minutes, then cut into bite-size slices to serve.

Char Siu - Chinese Glazed Roast Pork

5.0 from 15 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Marinate the pork: 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. Roast the pork: Preheat oven to 160 Celsius (320 Fahrenheit). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a wire rack on top. Arrange pork over a wire rack and roast (bake) for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare basting sauce: Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepot along with the two tablespoons of honey. Cook over medium heat until boiling, then cook further until syrup consistency, about 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  4. Baste the pork: Remove the pork from the oven, baste with basting sauce, flip to the other side, and baste again. Roast again for another 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the pork from the oven for the second time, 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.
  6. Finally, remove the pork from the oven, baste the surface, and return it to the oven for a final 10 minutes roast. It should be caramelized nicely and glazed with sticky sauce.
  7. Serve: Take the pork out from the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes, then slice into bite-size pieces.

Notes

  • (*) 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.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Andy Andy says:

    All your recipes are so delicious my mouth waters every time I read them. Love learning about Indonesia and all the food and language. ..

    • Anita Anita says:

      Thanks! Maybe you'll give them a try someday :)

  • Karla 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 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 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 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.

  • Noelle Noelle says:

    The flavors on this pork were great! Thanks for this, loved it!

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    I've never had this before but it sounds just amazing. I can't wait to try it.

  • Megan Ellam Megan Ellam says:

    This just came up on my feed and I was just talking about Char Siu yesterday. Must be fate or the FB gods either way a delicious looking recipe.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Now you simply must try the recipe, Megan. It's definitely a sign. ;)

  • Sara Sara says:

    This was easy and tasty. I don't think I'll ever make pork another way! Yum! Made it with some roasted asparagus.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Roasted asparagus sounds like a great pair for this. I usually just stir fry some bok choy or other Chinese greens when I make char siu. :)

  • Erika Erika says:

    This pork roast looks perfect. I can't get over how delicious that glaze looks, yum!

  • david r sayer david r sayer says:

    My cousin Sue made a very similar dish when I visited in Liverpool. I have some nice cut pork ribs and found this recipe'. Looks fantastic and can't wait to try it.

  • Sophie Sophie says:

    How much Five-spice powder should I use? I don't really like the licorice taste in the 5-spice powder. Would it taste as good if I left it out or is there a substitute without the licorice flavor?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Sophie, I just noticed the recipe card is missing five spice powder, thanks for pointing that out! I will need to update it. It should be 1 teaspoon of five spice powder.

      If you don't like the taste of five spice powder, you can omit it but use 5 tablespoons of hoisin sauce (instead of 4 tablespoons) and 1 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar (instead of 1 1/2 tablespoon). Keep everything else the same.

  • Milky Milky says:

    Delicious! Five-spice aroma can't be beat. The saucy glaze was beautiful and not fakey-sweet. Save for the patience required for the long marinating time, this was actually really easy. It certainly impressed all the people in my house, and I look forward to the leftovers getting the fried rice treatment!

    I was looking for recipes to use some pork shoulder rib cuts and thought I'd try this one. I just used the pieces as they came from the package; 3 to make the 1.5 kg- I like my meat totally charred, so I'll try to get smaller pieces next time. (I'm not super savvy on butcher cuts, and my small-town grocer is pretty limited).

  • Jas Jas says:

    Hello Anita, I have both shaoxing wine (1tbsp) and Chinese rose wine (1/2 tbsp), shld i use both or only either or? Are the amounts i hv written right? Sorry i am confused bcos i m not using rose water. Thank you for your recipe.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Jas, if you have Chinese rose wine, simply use 1 1/2 tablespoon Chinese rose wine. You won't need Shaoxing, and you won't need rose water either. :)

  • Elaine Elaine says:

    Now this is the way to make pork. That glaze is absolutely unbelievable and makes my mouth water!

  • Tara Tara says:

    Such a gorgeous pork! That glaze looks incredible and I love the flavors. Will definitely be perfect for pairing with noodles.

  • Andrea Andrea says:

    This pork looks glorious! Your marinade is awesome and I cant wait to make this.

  • Marlynn Marlynn says:

    I have some pork tenderloin I need to try this with! That glaze looks so delicious.

  • Noelle Simpson Noelle Simpson says:

    Yum! This made for the perfect dinner, can't wait to make it again.

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