Chinese Roast Pork (Char Siu)

"Sweet, delicious roast pork. Recipe adapted from my chef's version at culinary school. If you follow all the steps, it's the best char siu you'll ever have. I am usually "lazy" and use the marinade on a pork roast, then glaze it at the end."
photo by gailanng photo by gailanng
photo by gailanng
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
Ready In:
24hrs 35mins
1 1/2 lbs.




  • First day preparation:

  • To make the marinade, combine the first 8 ingredients in a freshly-sanitized plastic container just large enough to hold the pork snug - or - in a Ziploc plastic bag. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for glaze. Add the pork, turn well to coat, and refrigerate at least 24 hours and not longer than 48 hours.
  • Second day preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F Set a pan filled with 1" water on the bottom rack.
  • Combine the honey, 2 Tbs. soy, sesame oil, and 1/4 cup pork marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Set aside.
  • Place pork strips on broiler pan and put on rack above water pan. Roast 10 minutes.
  • Brush with 1/3 of the glaze, roast 10 minutes more, and then lower the heat to 350°F
  • Brush with half of remaining glaze and roast 10 minutes more.
  • Brush with remaining glaze and turn off oven. Remove from oven after 5 minutes and cool to room temperature on a rack (if using for Bao; otherwise, serve it up!).

Questions & Replies

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  1. GREAT ! This recipe tasted exactly like what I grew up eating (in a half Chinese family).<br/><br/>A few small changes:<br/><br/>1) I used natural pork loin filets, approximately 1.5 lbs<br/>2) I dry roasted the pork after 36 hours of marinade: 30 minutes at 350 degrees, followed by 5 minutes each side with the broiler<br/>3) The glaze I used (and basted each side of the fillets with) consisted of simply honey and 1/4 c the original marinade
  2. I was craving some roast pork lo mein and the char siu that was at the market didn't appeal to me so I gave your recipe a whirl. I bought my pork at my local Asian market and had all the other ingredients on hand. I just pulled this out of the oven and had to try a piece - it is delicious! Now I have plenty to add to my other dishes that I like to make. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
  3. AMAZING!!! I don't think there ARE words to describe how tender & delicious this pork was. Made as directed, except I used a tenderloin (grocery store did not have a shoulder/butt at the time). Wow. The water bath was great for keeping the meat moist. Oh, I forgot to cut the tenderloin into strips before marinating so I did it right before cooking, dunked them in the marinade & then put them on the broiler pan. Every ingredient that went into this marinade played a part in creating a well-balanced, subtle yet very flavorful meat. The glaze was excellent also. My family went crazy over this recipe & even picky DD ate it! I served it with recipe #343016 & recipe #382595. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe, Icedcacti! It's going into the "definitely make again" file! Made for Fall 2009 Pick A Chef.
  4. Loved all the flavor on the meat. I will cook a little less next time but was so good. Served with fried rice. Wish I would have doubled the recipe. Wanted more for leftover to make Chinese buns.
  5. Made this for dinner this past week-end and family thought it was really good. Meat was very tender and had nice flavor. Will make again.


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