Char siu is a very classic Cantonese dish originated from Guangdong. You’ll find the recipe surprisingly simple and easy to make. It does need long time to marinate, so prepare it one day ahead to ensure the sauce penetrates the meat before cooking.
For the pork, I prefer to use pork shoulder. It’s relatively well marbled, and contains a lot of connective tissue that becomes tender after cooking. I bought the meat from Costco that is already cut into big strips and ready for marinating. Depending on the thickness of the meat, make sure to adjust cooking time accordingly (approximately 10-20 minutes on each side).
- 800 g pork shoulder
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 pieces chinese fermented red bean curd
- 4 tbsp Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce [see note below for substitution]
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
Put the pork in a zip top bag, add sugar and shaoxing wine and marinate at least 2 hours. The reason for doing this is to allow the sugar and wine to penetrate the meat first. And the wine makes the meat juicy and tender.
In a small bowl, add grated ginger, red bean curd, char siu sauce and honey and mix well. Pour it on the pork and marinate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the pork on a rack, with the foil lined the pan underneath. Brush the pork with dark soy sauce and honey. Use the lower rack of the oven so that the top of the pork doesn't burn. Cook the pork for 20 minutes.
Take the pork out and flip over to the other side. Brush the pork with more dark soy sauce and honey and put it back to the oven. Cook for another 20 minutes and remove it from the oven.
Let it cool for 10 minutes. Cut it into thin slices.
To make your own char siu sauce, combine 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp honey or maltose, 1/2 tbsp plum sauce and mix well. I like both homemade and Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce. The premade one has more citrus flavor that I really like. It's also very convenient.