Chinese Barbecued Pork (Char Siu) - Cook's Illustrated

READY IN: 2hrs 25mins
Recipe by swissms

Published in Cook's Illustrated, March-April 2007. Pay close attention to the meat when broiling -- you are looking for it to darken and caramelize, not blacken. Serve with rice and vegetables. Leftover pork can be used in fried rice.

Top Review by mizjmassie

I love Chinese barbecued pork and have made it using a mix that I purchse at the Asian market which is really good. However, I don't think you are really cooking when you use mixes and I always wanted to make this from scratch. Because Cooks Illustrated has really good recipes to me, I wanted to try their's and boy was I glad I did. This pork tasted even better than some Chinese recipes I have gone to. I mean this is the real thing. It is a few steps, but it is so worth it especially if you like to cook like I do. I usually like to tweak recipes to make them my own, but there was nothing I could do to tweak on this one that would enhance it. At least nothing I could think of because it was just perfect as is.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cut pork butt in half lengthwise. Turn each half on cut side and slice each half into 4 equal pieces (you will end up with 8 strips). Trim excess hard, waxy fat, leaving some fat to render while cooking.
  2. Using fork, prick each piece of pork on all sides. Place pork in large plastic zipper-lock bag. Combine sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sherry, pepper, five-spice powder, sesame oil, ginger and garlic in medium bowl.
  3. Measure out 1/2 cup marinade and set aside.
  4. Pour remaining marinade into bag with pork. Press out as much air as possible; seal bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  5. While meat marinates, combine ketchup and honey with reserved marinade in small saucepan. Cook glaze over medium heat until syrupy, 4-6 minutes.
  6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°F Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set wire rack on sheet. Spray the wire rack and rimmed pan with vegetable oil spray (this will help to facilitate cleanup).
  7. Remove park from marinade, letting any excess drip off, and place on wire rack. Pour 1/4 cup water into bottom of pan. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimping edges tightly to seal. Cook pork 20 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and continue to cook until edges of pork begin to brown, 40-45 minutes.
  9. Turn on broiler (do not use a drawer broiler). Broil pork until evenly caramelized, 7-9 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush pork with half of glaze; broil until deep mahogany color, 3-5 minutes. (Watch carefully; do not allow to blacken.).
  10. Using tongs, flip meat and broil until other side carmelizes, 7-9 minutes. Brush meat with remaining glaze and continue to broil until second side is deep mahogany, 3-5 minutes.
  11. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into thin strips and serve.

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