Char Siu - Chinese Roast Pork

TheAimlessCook's picture

Jul. 01, 2013

Char siu is that famous Chinese red roast pork that you see hanging in the windows of your favourite meat shops in Chinatown. So delicious and savoury with that hint of sweetness from that incredible caramelized marinade. Its easier than you think to make so lets get cooking!


Pork shoulder 3 Pound ((2
For the marinade
Sugar 1/3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
Shaoxing wine 2 Tablespoon
Oyster sauce 2 Tablespoon
5 spice powder 1/2 Teaspoon
Hoisin sauce 1/3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
Red food coloring 6 Drop
Maltose/Honey 1 1/2 Tablespoon



To prepare the marinade: (Do this one day ahead of time so that your pork will have maximum flavour)

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar with shaoxing cooking wine, oyster sauce, 5-spice powder, and hoisin sauce. You may add 6 drops of red food colouring as well.

2. Finally, add maltose and stir to dissolve. (Maltose is a very thick and very sticky ingredient, so be patient. It will slowly dissolve as you mix it with the other ingredients)

3. When the marinade is ready, put it into a large zip lock bag and then add pork shoulder.

4. Coat the pork evenly and pop into the fridge to marinate overnight. (Be sure to turn the bag over every few hours or so)


5. Preheat oven to 375 F.

6. When the meat is ready, take it out of the bag and keep the marinade in a small bowl.

7. Place the pork in a roasting pan on a rack and put in into the preheated oven until done. (Baste it with that marinade every 10-15 minutes)

8. Flip the pork over halfway through cooking. It will be done when the edges start to caramelize and the surface is glistening red. (If you have a meat thermometer, the inside should read about 160 F)

9. Once the meat is about done, turn the oven up to broil and briefly hit it with that high heat to caramelize the rest of the surface.

10. Take out of the oven and set aside to rest for a few minutes before slicing.


11. Serve inside a bun (cha siu baau), with noodles (cha siu mein), or with rice (cha siu fan), or served alone as a centerpiece or main dish. You may also use it as an ingredient in various entrees at meals.


For a great balance of fat and lean, go for shoulder. If you want extra lean, get yourself pork tenderloin. If you want to go for broke, get pork belly.

You may make in large quantity and keep it handy for whatever you want to use it for. It also freezes well, so you can store it whole or sliced, thaw it and use it whenever you get a craving.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Medium
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 517Calories from Fat 257

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 29 g44.6%

Saturated Fat 10 g50%

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 492 mg20.5%

Total Carbohydrates 21 g7%

Dietary Fiber %

Sugars 16 g

Protein 40 g80%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet