Char siu pork was like an exciting new taste discovery to me when I was just beginning to cook. I needed some for a recipe, so we went to the Asian grocery store and bought some. I was intrigued by the appearance of the bright red meat, and also by the sweet, smoky flavor. I continued buying Char siu to use in recipes until this weekend. I discovered that my favorite Chinese cookbook had a recipe, and it didn’t look too difficult.
I bought the wrong kind of pork (butt instead of loin), sliced it much more thinly than usual, and it was still absolutely wonderful. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to store bought!
(adapted from The Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo)
About 2 pounds of pork butt or pork loin
4 tsp soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
4 tsp hoisin sauce
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
Cut the pork into slices about 1/2″ to 1″ thick.
Prick all over both sides with a fork.
Line a roasting pan with foil. Place the pork in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate 2 to 4 hours.
Heat the oven to 450 F. Place the roasting pan on a rack in the middle and roast for about 25 minutes. Turn the meat over and baste every 5 to 6 minutes. If the sauce dries out, add some boiling water to the pan. Some of the sauce may burn in the pan, but the meat should be fine. Check for doneness by removing one piece of pork and slicing in the middle to see if it is cooked through.
Remove from the pan to cool.