Char Sui (Chinese BBQ Pork)


One of my favorite “go to” dishes, when ordering Chinese take out, is the BBQ Pork. I love to mix the red sauce together with the hot mustard and dip the pork in it as it were a bowl of chips and salsa. Just enough hot mustard to clear the sinuses but not to the point of tears forming. Yum!

It was at my first job, out of culinary school, that I learned how to make Char Sui (BBQ Pork). I was working at a boutique hotel preparing food for private events(Banquets and Catering). Char Sui (BBQ Pork) was one of the more popular hors d’oeuvres on the menu and one of my favorites to make (and eat!). I love the charred end pieces the best. Since they were not display worthy, they were all mine! One of the many perks of working in a kitchen, you get to taste everything.

You might think that something so delicious would be difficult to make but it is actually quite simple. The main “tricks” to making a flavorful and juicy Char Sui is to marinate the pork for at least 24 hours, do not overcook it and be sure to let the meat rest after cooking.

Char Sui can be cooked in the oven or on the BBQ Grill using indirect heat. I typically cook it in the oven but on a hot summer day will take it to the grill.

Over the years I have seen many different versions of making Char Sui. Most use the same ingredients in varying amounts. Some add ketchup or five spice. Some use red food color and some don’t. I have left the food color as optional. Sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t. It really just depends if I want that bright red look or not, since the flavor is not affected by using it. I think that this recipe achieves that perfect balance of salty and sweet that is Char Sui. I hope this will become one of your “go to” favorite dishes as well.

Enjoy!

Char Sui (Chinese BBQ Pork)

  • 2 pounds pork loin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • red food color, a few drops (optional)

To Marinate:

Cut pork loin lengthwise into long thick strips and place into a gallon sized ziploc bag. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make a marinade. Pour marinade in bag with the pork and swish around to coat. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 24 to 48 hours.

To Cook:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Remove meat from marinade and place on a roasting rack with drip pan underneath. Place in preheated oven and roast until meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Aprox. 40-60 minutes, depending on thickness of the meat. To check internal temperature, insert food thermometer into thickest part of meat. be sure to check temperature of each piece of pork. Once proper temperature is reached, remove pork from the oven and lightly cover with foil. Let meat rest covered for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows juices to redistribute. After meat has rested, slice and serve.

Suggestions:

Serve with steamed rice and stir fried veggies or Asian slaw

Serve as an appetizer with Hot mustard sauce

Serve over a steaming bowl of ramen

Use any leftovers to make fried rice

 

 

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