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Char-Siu Pork

Char-Siu Pork




Char-Siu Pork


Sticky, sweet & salty, red Char-Siu pork also called Chinese BBQ pork just like you get in Chinese restaurants! Basically, you combine the ingredients together to make a marinade which the pork would be placed into, then it is roasted then sliced thin to serve. It is so good and surprisingly easy to make at home, I promise, you will love this recipe. 







Char-Siu is a popular way to flavor and prepare what we call Chinese BBQ pork in Cantonese Cuisine. It is a sweet and salty pork dish with a sticky sauce that is formed after cooking. It has a redish color to it that comes just from a little food coloring. This is a popular dish in many Chinese restaurants, but I find not many people take on the challenge of making it at home as it is percieved as difficult to make. Most restaurants season and cook a whole piece of pork roast and then slice it thin to serve.


On my venture to create my own recipe, I tried quite a few different ways before finally getting it perfect with this recipe. This came out well and allowed the salty, sticky, red sauce that you are looking for to come together nicely. 



Ingredients for Char-Siu Pork



  • Pork – I recommend a fattier cut such as pork shoulder or pork butt.
  • Brown Sugar – Contributes to the sweet taste and brown is best for the caramelising however, white may be substituted.
  • Soy Sauce – I like to use light , a dark soy sauce flavor may be too strong.
  • Chinese Five Spice – Contributes to the authentic Chinese flavor.
  • Hoisin Sauce – A popular Chinese Sauce which has a sweet & savoury flavor.
  • Oyster Sauce – Another popular Chinese Sauce with a savoury salty taste.
  • Ginger – Contributes a nice flavor to compliment the other ingredients
  • Garlic – Paired with the ginger to give this dish more flavor
  • Salt
  • Sesame Oil – To contribute to the Chinese flavor
  • Shaoxing Rice Wine – helps contrast the sweet.
  • Red Food Coloring  – To give that crimson red color of traditional Char-Siu. However, it can be omitted and still have the same great taste.
  • Honey – Contributes to the sweet and gives it the nice, shiny, caramelised coating.


Preparation Steps for Char-Siu Pork




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  1. So in my recipe, I use about 1-1/2″ thick pork shoulder pieces, so I just use those whole, but if your pork pieces are thicker, you would cut them in two.
  2. I then combine the ingredients to make up the marinade.
  3. I set aside about 1/4 cup of the marinade to combine with the honey which will be used for basting at the end part of roasting.
  4. I then place the pork pieces  in the marinade to soak overnight in my tight seal Tupperware seasoning bowl.
  5. When ready to roast, I line my baking pan with foil and place a rack on top where the pork pieces are placed. I add about 1-1/2 cups of water to the pan to keep the pork moist and collect the drippings to prevent smoking while cooking.
  6. While roasting uncovered, I roast it for a total of 50 minutes, starting at 475 degrees for the first 10 minutes, then decreasing to 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then turning and cooking another 15 minutes.
  7. At this point, I baste both sides of the pork with the honey & marinade that was reserved and roast another 10 minutes. At this point the pork should be cooked, but if you want it a little browner, you can broil for just a few minutes.
  8. I also like to use the drippings left in the pan to pour over my pork once sliced to create a gravy. Most restaurants and others however just slice and serve so only the top is red with the sauce. So this step is optional.




I realized that making char-siu at home isn’t that hard at all, to me this is even tastier than restaurant quality. Another option some people use is to grill the shoulder steaks, however, I haven’t tried that method. So if you decide to give this a try, leave me a comment below.






Char-Siu Pork

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Dianne


  • 3 Lbs. 1-2" pieces of Pork Shoulder or Leg
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Ginger grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic grated
  • 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. Rice Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp. Red Food Coloring
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Hot Water


  1. Leave pork shoulder slices whole (leaving fat on it as it keeps it moist while cooking). If using a thick piece of pork shoulder, cut in half to have 2 long pieces.

  2. In a large seasoning bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, five spice, sesame oil, wine or apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and food coloring in a bowl to make the marinade (BBQ sauce).

  3. Reserve about 1/4 cup of marinade and set aside. Rub the pork with the rest of marinade in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least for 8 hours. Keep the reserve marinade in the fridge as well.

  4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and place a rack on top. Add 1-1/2 cups of water to the baking pan. Place pork and arrange pork on the rack spaced a little apart. Roast for 10 minutes then decrease heat to 375 degrees and continue roasting for 15 minutes.

  5. Turn pieces over and roast another 15 minutes.

  6. Combine the reserved marinade with the honey and hot water. Baste both sides of pork and roast an additional 10 minutes. The pork should be cooked now and caramelised on top but if you would like, you can broil for a few minutes to crisp the outside.

  7. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. You may also drain any liquid from your baking pan and combine with the remaining basting sauce to make a gravy or if preferred not to make a gravy, just use the rest of basting sauce to baste pork.

  8. Slice, and serve with Chinese greens and white rice or side of choice.

Recipe Notes

Serves best with white rice, lo-mein, or stir fry vegetables.


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3 years ago

5 stars
Very good 👍 I will give this dish 5/5 because a do anything with it, just perfect

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