Sunday, March 1, 2015
I love Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) 蜜汁叉燒! It’s one of our family’s stables that appears on our dining table at least twice a month, if not more often. When I was still living in Hong Kong, it is one of the most popular last minute “to-go” item to purchase from BBQ restaurants as an additional dish for dinner. Or, if you are a dinner guest at someone’s house for a home cook meal, Char Siu is always a well received hostess gift.
I usually double my Char Siu recipe that I shared here (see full recipe at the bottom of the post). Why? Because the left over is just as amazing when paired with noodles and/or individual buns (those will be in another posts)! So, don’t be afraid to make more. You’re going to love my secret recipe that taste just as good as those that are selling at the BBQ restaurants. I know there are “ready made” bottled Char Siu sauce out there. But they don't taste as authentic as making your own sauce from scratch, at all!
First off, the glorious shiny glaze! It’s achieved by using maltose (a.k.a. malt sugar)! Yes, it’s the thick and sticky maltose that gives the Char Siu that gloss. While it is well known that honey is used in the recipe, its purpose is mainly to add flavor. It really is the maltose that gives the meat that shine and glossy finish. I got the maltose at a local Asian supermarket, or you can check it out here.
Now, onto the gorgeous red hue. The redness is from the Red Bean Curd, which is made from fermented soy beans and red rice! It also gives the Char Siu that distinctive depth of earthy aroma that you can’t get from other ingredients. I have to warn you, bean curd is on the salty side. That’s why you only need one piece for the recipe.
Here’s how it looks inside (see picture below). Some brands also package the bean curds in glass jars. Just make sure it’s the red bean curd, and NOT Chilli bean curd that gives the redness. So, read the list of ingredients before you buy it. I don't think you want spicy Char Siu, right?
Another secret ingredient is the Hoisin Sauce. Think of it as the sweet and savory Chinese BBQ sauce. It gives any dish the umani flavors! So, in between the red bean curd, Hoisin Sauce, chicken bouillon powder and soy sauce, you don’t need to add any salt in this recipe.
One more ingredient that I would like to mention is fresh ginger root! It’s earthy, yet refreshing. It lightens up the whole dish. Just make sure you peel the skin off the ginger root and grate it with the ginger grater. The fibers from the ginger will magically disappeared and left you with the smooth grated fresh ginger that is fine in texture and not chunky at all. You don’t want to bite into big pieces of ginger in your Char Siu. The grater doesn't have to be expensive at all. My Mom got me this grater years ago and it works great. Or you can check out this one here.
Hm…..check out this juicy and succulent piece of Char Siu! It’s ridiculously fragrant and so easy to make. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and forget about the bottled Char Siu Sauce! This is the real deal and I’m sure your family will love it just as much as my family does!
Props and Ingredients used in this post:
Maltose (Click here for product information)
Red Bean Curd (Click here for similar product information)
Hoisin Sauce (Click here for product information)
Ginger Grater (Click here for similar product information)
Assorted Floral Chopsticks (Click here to see similar product)
Roll Up Window Blinds used as backdrop (Click here to see product information)
Crane Chopsticks Rest (Click here to see product information)
Bamboo Placemats (Click here for more information)
Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) 秘製蜜汁叉燒
2 pound pork butt (a.k.a. pork shoulder)
1 piece of fermented red bean curd
1 tablespoon liquid from the red bean curd
2 tablespoons meltose
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon five spice powder
2 tablespoon HoiSin Sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
Cut the pork into long stripes, about 2 inches thick. Place pork in a glass or ceramic container. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade. Pour the rest onto the pork. Make sure all the sides of the pork are covered with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Put the pork on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then, flip the pork and bake the other side for another 15 minutes.
Brush half of the reserved marinade onto the pork, bake for 5 minutes. Then, flip the pork and brush the remaining of the reserved marinade onto the other side of the pork and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the BBQ pork is shiny, fragrant and slightly charred on the edges.
Remove from heat cover the cooked pork with a foil and let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.