Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Recipe: Homemade Char Siu 叉燒 (BBQ Pork)

I've never really felt the urge to make char siu 叉燒 (BBQ Pork / char siew) at home before, as we are able to get good char siu from Toast & Roast. However, good char siu in KL often comes with a high price tag. So when I saw Alvin's homemade char siu and how simple it was to make, I decided to give it a go and make my own at home.

Homemade Char Siu 叉燒 (BBQ Pork)

Char siu is a Chinese-flavored BBQ pork, and can be made using pork loin, butt (shoulder), pork neck or pork belly. I bought approximately 1 kg of pork belly from the butcher, and asked her to remove the pig skin for me. The pork is then marinated for at least 24 hours in a mix of soy sauce, honey, nam yue (red fermented bean curds), caster sugar, oyster sauce and Chinese Shaoxing wine.

This is my first time making char siu, and I find this method really unique as the pork belly is first cooked in the wok (similar to braising pork belly) and then once the meat is tender with melting fat layers, the pork belly is placed under the grill to give it a nice char.

The char siu (BBQ pork) is served with wantan noodles and homemade pork and prawn wantans. Of course for Hubby, he also gets an extra plate of char siu topped with some of the sauce. We love the texture of the char siu and both agree that this version is slightly more savoury than the ones we get at Toast & Roast (the ones at T&R is very very sweet but nice). My parents loved this version of char siu very much. I would love to experiment by tweaking the marinade until I get the taste that Hubby is looking for. But this method is one I would definitely stick to using as I get control over the tenderness of the meat.

Sweet, sticky char siu 叉燒

Homemade Char Siu 叉燒 (BBQ pork)
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Chef and Sommelier
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves 5-6

1kg pork belly, skin removed
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/3 cup water

For the marinade
1 tsp salt (To add later)
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp honey (or maltose)
2 cubes red fermented bean curd (nam yue)
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp peanut oil

1. Rinse the pork and then pat dry with kitchen towel. 

2. Mix the ingredients for the marinade (except salt) and marinate pork over night. (I marinated for 30 hours)

Marinate for at least 24 hours, the longer the better.

3. Add salt to marinated pork 30 minutes before cooking.

4. In a wok, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Brown pork on all sides. Add marinade and water. Simmer over medium low heat for about 1 1/2 hours until marinade thickens to form sauce. (How long you simmer it for depends on the thickness of your pork belly - basically you simmer it until the meat is tender and the fat layers are almost melting. If sauce thickens before your pork is ready, simply add some boiling water a little at a time).

Brown the meat

Add the water and allow to simmer

Simmer until tender, and the sauce is thick and syruppy

5. Preheat the oven to 240°C on grill mode.

6. Turn the meat in the sauce until well coated. Remove from wok and place on a baking tray lined with tin foil. Brush with more sauce.

Ready for the grill

7. Grill pork in oven for 5-8 minutes each side. Keep an eye as it chars quite quickly.

Grill til it's slightly charred

8. Remove from oven and allow char siu to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Drizzle some sauce (from Step 4) onto the char siu before serving.

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  1. I like my char siew with some fat, this look yummy! :D

  2. This looks soooo good. I did see Alvin's too - just as awesome. Bet you all would not want to eat those sold outside anymore after this.

  3. Yen, I am so going to make my own char siew after this good reminder from you hah! hah! I had bookmarked Alvin's recipe but have been so busy. Pork belly would be my choice too, the yumminess is in the fats!

  4. Very nice..and thanks for the recipe. I'll definitely try this one

  5. OMG I love char siu! I should give this recipe a try as it's my number one addiction, especially when it's all juicy :D

  6. Your plate of home made char siew noodles made my mouth water!

  7. I made this last week too using Alvin's recipe. They're are great.

  8. I love your char siu wanton noodles! Seriously authentic

  9. Hi Yen,
    It is already almost 10.30pm and you are making me drool over your char siew! Looks really delicious!!

  10. Amazing-looking char siew! I'm pretty sure I'll never make my own char Siew at home, so I marvel at your effort and result! :D

  11. Hi Yen,
    I am drooling now looking at your delicious char siew!
    And I super like your wanton mee with char siew again :D

  12. Hey Yen! Glad that your family loves the CS! Remember to update me when you tweak the marinade recipe... I want to try too!

  13. Ur homemade char siew looks fabs...ur wantan noodles also looks fabs! =)

  14. Wow! The Char Siew is tempting.
    My family loves meat. They going to love this too!

  15. Hi Yen, this char siew looks so beautiful and yummy. Already drooling... Have a great week ahead :)


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