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Dec 15, 2006 05:54 PM

The Char Xiu Experiment

I've been embarking on some home cooking projects lately and I documented one of my first attempts at making Chinese BBQ Pork.

This recipe came from the forums at the website and is definitely the Chinese rather than Japanese version of the dish.

Ingredients included:
Shaoshing wine
Oyster Sauce
Soy Sauce
S & P
Mirin (in place of absent honey)

As this was just an experiment and I plan on only using the char xiu for fried rice - I bought a single pork steak I cut lenthwise.

After an overnight marination, I poorly fashioned some ersatz hooks from metal skewers; with which i hunk the pork strips from the top rack over a pan filled with H2O. These did work though.

I roasted the pork at about 415 for a half hour (not much meat).

I am very pleased with the results: good caramelization, natural red hue (sorry no saltpeter or red food coloring for that matter), good musky pork flavor, crisp exterior, and an only faint sweetness.

Next time I will use the honey instead of the mirin though.

Take a look:

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  1. Wow, that does look good! And red without the saltpeter or food coloring, I hadn't thought it would be. I think I would like a bit of honey too, I like a touch of sweetness, but not too much.

    1. I tried making this a few months ago:

      1 (1-pound) piece boneless pork butt or shoulder
      1/4 cup hoisin sauce
      1/4 cup soy sauce
      1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or sake
      2 tablespoons honey
      1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
      1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
      1/2 teaspoon salt

      Marinate overnight, 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes using the same method as OP, basting with marinade every so often. I cooked the marinade a bit before basting.

      1. Chahan Follow Up Picture:


        Secret Ingredient: dash of dasni-no-moto in lieu of msg.

        1. Very nice, the only thing you need to do is brush with honey or syrup every few min. for 20 min. before taking out of the oven.

          1 Reply
          1. re: theSauce

            Thank you for the recommendation. A Japanese book on chinese cuisine I was reading today also recommends drying the pork of the marinade before the oven - which I carelessly forgot to do. There was minimal over-crisping however.

          2. Nicely done, now I'm hankering for some char siu. I like to BBQ 4-5 lbs of pork shoulder to get that nice smoky burnt flavor. I also like to use maltose (comes in those little plastic containers with the pink lids). This recipe is from a friend.

            5 Tb light soy
            3 Tb dark soy
            5 Tb maltose
            2 Tb white sugar
            4 Tb Chinese cooking wine, rum or any alcohol
            4 Tb hoisin
            1 tsp five spice powder

            1.Mix everything except the pork shoulder in a small pot, simmer on low for 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temp.

            2. Add marinade to pork, refrigerate overnight. Turning the meat the next morning.
            3. Preheat BBQ on high then when you put meat on, put meat on low heat. Maltose will want to burn, burn burn. Baste every 15-20min with left over marinade. Takes about 40min-hour, depending on thickness of pork shoulder. I try to filet it so it is more or less same thickness.