Char siu, BBQ pork 叉烧

Cantonese kitchen is famous for BBQ meats, classics are the char siu, roasted pork belly and roasted goose. Char siu comes with a lot of variations. I used pork shoulder for this recipe. The meat to make cha siu needs to be lean with some fat. Often, char siu looks red and has a shiny glaze. The pork gets it red color from red food coloring and from the fermented red bean curd that is used in the marinade. When the char siu is almost ready, the meat will be coated with some honey or sugar water. First time that I am using food coloring for my char siu the color looks amazing.

Char Siu


  • 400 gr. pork shoulder or pork neck
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp red fermented tofu
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 drops of food coloring, optional
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine, optional


  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp water

Cut the pork meat in slices of about 2 cm. Add the meat and all the ingredients in a Ziplock bag and marinate it overnight in the fridge. Before roasting the char siu, let the meat rest a bite outside the fridge.

Put the meat on a roasting tray with underneath a tray with some water. The meat will stay moist during the roasting.

It will take about 50 minutes to roast the char siu, putting the oven on 180 degree Celsius. Drip the meat with some leftover marinade, every 15 minutes. Last 5 minutes, turn up the heat high to 200 degree Celsius and coat the meat with the honey water. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before cutting into pieces. Serve it with some rice and veggies, real comfort food.

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