When I think of Chinese BBQ Pork, I think of sticky, red, and delicious. Every time I go out for Chinese, this is my weakness. I’ll even order extra to take home, or at least I did to till I learned how it’s created.
Now I’m excited to share my results with you. Although some preparation work is necessary, the final results will have you creating more and more each time.
In this recipe, I’ll walk you through which cuts of pork to use and why, as well as how to gather the right ingredients to prepare real Char Siu Chinese BBQ Pork over a charcoal barbecue.
- How to make Char Sui
- Prepping the pork correctly at the start is the key for maximum flavor
- Marinade your meat, it’s the best
- Cooking over charcoal is the best way to get that great smoky flavor
- Serving suggestions
- Serving suggestions
- What makes char siu pork pink?
- What kind of charcoal is best for pulled pork?
- How long to cook 1-inch thick pork chops on charcoal grill?
- How long to grill 1-inch thick pork?
- Do you close the grill when cooking pork?
- How do you cook pork on the grill without drying it out?
- What temperature do you cook pork on charcoal?
- Is Char Siu pork unhealthy?
How to make Char Sui
We’re all certain that we’re the finest at preparing pork. America has a 400-year tradition of grilling anything from pork ribs to entire pigs.
When compared to China, where we are talking thousands of years, we are still only teenagers in BBQ years. They are unquestionably the Grand Daddys of BBQ, and I believe they know what they’re doing.
Char siu, which translates to “fork roast,” is a Cantonese cuisine. Read on for more information, or watch the video below to learn how to prepare Char Sui.
Char Siu Pork’s rich charred mahogany gloss has a mystical quality to it. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
It was traditionally cooked over charcoal, and we shall do the same today.
To create this original dish, you will need to visit your local Chinese grocery shop for some of the ingredients, but believe me when I say it will be worth the journey.
There are many cuts that may be used to prepare Char Siu: Pork Collar Butt, Pork Scotch, and even tenderloin; however, tenderloin tends to be a lot thinner, so stick to the cuts that have a little of fat in them.
This adds flavor and keeps the meat succulent.
Items that will help with this cook:
- Kettle grill with multiple cooking zones (I’m using a 22 Weber Kettle)
- briquettes or lump charcoal (I’m using briquettes)
- Smoking wood (Im using apple wood)
- I’m using a ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE rapid read thermometer.
- Chopping board
- Boning or trimming knife
Prepping the pork correctly at the start is the key for maximum flavor
Begin by slicing the pork into 1 inch thick pieces. I’ve discovered that this is the best size and most consistent, particularly when visiting any Chinese BBQ restaurant.
Remember, we’re preparing true Char Siu, not as close to it as possible.
Once you’ve cut up all of the pork collar into 1 strips, lay them in a dish and cover with plastic wrap until ready to marinate.
Marinade your meat, it’s the best
Nothing makes me happier than experimenting with different recipes, rubs, sauces, and marinades. So I set out on a journey to discover precisely what went into this gooey charred caramelized pig masterpiece known as Char Siu.
Every time I eat it, I wish I had more since the taste is out of this world.
So I set out to locate recipe after recipe after dish, until I realized there were so many. I began to exclude individuals who did not utilize conventional components, such as honey for sweetness. My goal was to achieve genuine perfection.
So we’re talking about a few items you’ve probably never seen, heard of, or even used before, but they’re all available at any Chinese supermarket.
If you can’t locate these items, I’ll provide some alternatives lower down; believe me, they’re worth looking for.
The components must all be combined in a mixing bowl; for the most part, you are just measuring out proportions.
Garlic and ginger should be roughly cut into tiny bits.
The red fermented bean curd is a combination of fermented red tofu and the red bean curd mixture; they must be combined into a paste before being combined with the other components.
The red bean curd gives this meal its distinctive crimson color and also contributes to its taste.
Once all of these ingredients are combined, pour the mixture over the pork and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Cooking over charcoal is the best way to get that great smoky flavor
I’m using a 22 Weber Kettle, so I’ll start by igniting a lump charcoal chimney. Once this has completely ash over, I’ll set it in a basket on one side of the charcoal grate.
Place a tray on the opposite side to aid in cleanup; this may be nasty, but it is well worth the effort, believe me.
Replace the cooking grate and insert one piece of apple smoking wood immediately over the ignited charcoal before replacing the cover. I plan to smoke at temperatures ranging from 300F to 320F.
When the smoke has settled on the Weber and just a light blue smoke is coming out of the lid vent, it’s time to add the marinated pig pieces.
Remove them from the marinade, but keep the remaining marinade for basting the meat later.
Place the pork strips on the indirect cooking zone, away from the flames. Replace the lid and position the lid vent over the pork to draw the heat and smoke across the meat.
Put the remaining marinade in a small saucepan and thicken with 2 teaspoons of Maltose.
Light another half chimney of lump charcoal and cook the pig slices directly over the flame, basting with the thickened sauce. This will give us that glossy, mahogany-colored burnt deliciousness that we like.
Keep an eye on the meat; you don’t want it to overcook and get dry.
Cook it indirectly until the internal temperature reaches 125°F. Then we’ll add some more lump charcoal and transfer the meat over the fire to cook until an internal temperature of 145F is attained.
The entire time basting and constantly flipping.
Once the internal temperature is achieved, remove from the fire and let aside for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into quarter-inch thick slices.
Char sui goes well with almost any rice meal. I’ll serve it with chicken-flavored jasmine rice.
I’m astounded by how many individuals I know who don’t know how to properly prepare rice. Add to it the fact that most people believe rice is uninteresting and bland, AAAARGH, there’s that bland adjective again.
No food needs to be bland.
Flavored jasmine rice
To begin, rinse your rice in cool water. Next, add the rice to a saucepan with some spice, such as chives, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
Then we’ll add one and a half cups of cold chicken stock for every cup of rice, so one and a half cups of chicken stock for every cup of rice.
Bring to a boil rapidly, then reduce to a low heat and let to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
I normally top mine with finely chopped chilies and onions. Remember that food, particularly simple old rice, should not be tasteless.
Lemon Steamed Chinese Greens
Pak choy, buk choy, sum choy, and Chinese broccolini are all vegetables. Any of these are appropriate and simple to prepare.
If you can’t locate any of the above, young broccolini is an excellent replacement.
Trim the hard end of the stalk, then rinse and drain well under cold water.
Bring a cup of water and a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to a boil in a steamer.
Steam the greens for about 6 minutes, then drain completely and serve right away.
This is one sort of meat that I could eat on its own. The sticky glazed charred sweetness doesn’t need much to complement it. It is unquestionably the hero on the plate, and attempting to outdo it would be useless.
I usually start with a big bowl of the chicken-flavored jasmine rice, topped with finely chopped chiles and thinly sliced scallions.
Then some lemon steamed Chinese greens were added, followed by lots of sliced up Char Siu.
This is a dish that I return to again and again. It seems easy, but it takes some time to prepare and the final product is pure enchantment in your mouth.