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  • Writer's pictureChinoiseries

Char Siu Pork - 叉烧肉

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

We really wanted to create our own version of this beloved classic. The marinade comes together really quickly, and the cooking, though slightly involved, isn't actually difficult.


1.2 kg boneless pork shoulder/pork butt (select a piece with some good fat on it), no more than 3 to 4 cm at its thickest point.

90 g granulated white sugar

90 g Chinese red sugar

15 g salt

5 g five spice powder

2 g teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon sesame oil

30 ml Shaoxing rice wine

30 ml soy sauce

40 ml hoisin sauce

6 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 cubes of red fermented bean curd, such as Wangzhihe

30g maltose syrup


Use a metal skewer, cake tester, or the edge of a sharp knife to poke holes all over the pork, so that the marinade can penetrate. Set aside.

Mix together all the other ingredients, except for the maltose. Decant one third of the mixture into an airtight container, seal, and refrigerate.

Pour the remaining two thirds into a sealable freezer bag with the pork, taking care to squeeze out any extra air. Alternatively, cover the pork with the marinade in a non-reactive container and press a piece of clingfilm on the surface. Leave to marinade at least overnight, though we have had best results by leaving it for a minimum of two nights and up to three.

When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 200°C.

Wrap an oven tray with aluminium foil, then pour a small glass of water over it (this will help to stop the sugars from the marinade burning on the tray).

Place the pork directly onto the wires of an oven rack.

Slide the rack onto the top third of the oven and the watery tray directly below it. Bake for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the pork and brush both sides with some of the reserved marinade, then return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, mix the maltose into the remainder of the marinade and warm briefly in a saucepan or microwave, to ensure the maltose is properly incorporated.

Remove the pork from the oven and turn the heat up to 220° C. Brush all of the marinade maltose mixture all over the pork, then return to the oven to cook for a further 5 minutes.

Take the pork out, switch the oven to grill, and once it's sufficiently hot, char the Char Siu (lol) til the edges are blackened and the rest of the marinade is well-caramelised.

Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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