A long time coming – Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

August 12, 2007

My memory fails me whenever I try to remember where I had that delicious char siew in KL. My dad took me near Bukit Bintang area, downtown KL into this colonial style old shop house for a delectable, melt in your mouth char siu lunch once, a long long time ago. Well, about 6 years ago. And I don’t remember where the heck it is.

I tried making my own Char Siu, Chinese BBQ Pork, with a goldfish memory and some references from Amy Beh of Kuali. All I remembered about that awesome char siu from years ago is that each piece of bbqed pork glistens with a mouthwatering juiciness that is beautifully caramelized. Sticky, black and gooey. The taste. Oh, the taste is just heavenly – sweet enough and flavorful. I don’t know what they did to cook the pork into such perfection but I want to try. And so, my kitchen experiment on Char Siu begins.

I bought 500 grams of pork tenderloin ( I asked the butcher to give me a fattier cut) and here is how it goes:

Cut the tenderloin into 1 inch strips. It’ll yield you about 2 long strips of char siu-like cuts.

Marinade the pork for a minimum of 3 hour to a max of 24 hours and no more:
2 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/4 tablespoons of soy sauce
A slosh of ShaoXing Chinese cooking wine
a few drops of red coloring, if desired
*you will have enough marinade for up to 1kg of pork tenderloin, keep marinade for basting later.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
On a greased baking sheet, line your pork nicely at least 1.5 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, baste with marinade every 15 minutes. Turn the pork over after 30 minutes and bake for another 30 minutes. Baste every 15 minutes. If you want your pork to have a caramelized top, put your griller on for 5 -8 minutes at the end with a glaze of honey.

Slice and eat with caution lest you want to burn your tongue 😀

You can keep extra char siu in freezers. You will find that it’s a great addition to fried rice or in soups with some wanton 🙂

You can try it with my Thai Wanton Pockets recipe or with my Dumpling Soup Recipe.

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August 13, 2007 @ 12:36 am

The Cha Siu looks PERFECT!!! I haven’t tried making my own yet…it doens’t look that hard!

Lyrical Lemongrass
August 13, 2007 @ 1:02 am

Wow, what a great effort!! Looks just like the real thing. 😉 haha!

The Expedited Writer
August 13, 2007 @ 2:45 am

steamykitchen: it’s not hard at all with an oven 😉

lyrical lemongrass: haha..yea, I didn’t think it’d come out so well but it did. Still… it did not beat the one I tried in KL.

Tracy Tan
August 13, 2007 @ 2:56 am

the bukit bintang char siew place is called meng kee char siew! i love it 🙂 but it is getting so expensive!

yours looks delicious too. i wish i had an oven here. i do miss my oven back home!

The Expedited Writer
August 13, 2007 @ 2:59 am

tracy: meng kee char siew! okie, must go back again even tho it’s expensive. Must.eat.that.char.siu.again. *drool*

"Joe" who is constantly craving
August 13, 2007 @ 3:30 am

you can always get lee kum kee char siu sauce if u are really lazy…

yeap meng kee char siu is top notch!

The Expedited Writer
August 13, 2007 @ 3:41 am

Joe: yeah..definitely something handy to have around when you’re feeling lazy.

. . .
August 14, 2007 @ 12:50 am

yum! that looks delicious. i’d especially like to try it in those wonton pockets. =)

The Expedited Writer
August 14, 2007 @ 1:03 am

…: let me know how it goes if you do 🙂

August 14, 2007 @ 5:18 am

“Sticky, black gooey…”, these are usually at the edge and especially if one particular piece is “fat” and perfectly caramelized. Usually can find just 2-3 pieces of these good stuff among all the other char siu pieces and you know what, I will intentionally look for those “Sticky, black gooey…” pieces coz they are the best 😀


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