Sunday, 23 March 2014

Char Siew marinade (traditional Chinese barbeque pork)

Two batches of delicious Char Siew!

I know many people who go to their local Chinese restaurant and buy pieces of Char Siew for dinner. They go to the shops or restaurants with ducks, pork and chicken hanging in their display window, pop in to buy char Siew then go home to cook some rice and whip up some Chinese Greens for a quick, no fuss, delicious dinner.  For those unfamiliar with Char Siew, it is pork neck or pork scotch fillet in a sweet, sticky marinade.  If you go to your local Chinese butcher, you should be able to purchase pork neck for about $12/kg. Other large supermarkets or butchers can charge up to $16/kg so look around.

So, here is my recipe for Char Siew marinade.  There is a bit of sugar but it is needed to counter the natural saltiness of the pork.  If you are a family of four and are eating the Char Siew with steamed rice and other Asian greens or even on top of some crispy egg noodles, I would suggest freezing two pieces for another meal.  It is so simple that once you try it, you will never buy it from your local Chinese restaurant again!

Note: You would also reocgnise Char Siew as the meat filling for pork buns or Char Siew baos.  You can find my recipe for the dough and assembly method here.
Serves 8 when served with rice and Asian greens

Meat preparation method 
1) Buy one pork neck (pork scotch fillet) roughly a kilo in weight.

2) Cut in half and then half again lengthwise so you have four pieces
Marinade ingredients
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbs light soy sauce#
- 1 tsp mushroom soy sauce*
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbs Chinese rice wine
- 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup water 
- 2 tbs honey
#for a gluten free version, see here for which soy sauce brands are gluten free
*if you don't have mushroom soy sauce then just add an extra tablespoon of dark soy sauce

1) Add all ingredients (except water and honey) into a bowl and mix well.
2) Add the pieces of pork and pour marinade over. Mix well.
3) Cover and leave overnight in the fridge or at least 2-3 hours

Cooking method
1) When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180 degrees
2) Place meat on roast rack then onto a roasting dish. Add water and leftover marinade into dish then cook in oven for half an hour.
3) Take meat out and brush meat with 1 tbs of honey. Turn pieces over and brush with remaining honey as well as the marinade fallen in the roasting pan. Place back into oven and cook for a further 15 minutes (or longer depending on your oven).
4) Take out of oven and brush both sides of meat with marinade in dish. 
5) Slice into small pieces and serve with rice and Asian greens (such as these 'stir fry' green beans here) and enjoy!


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