Homemade Chinese Barbecue Pork

by April@MyFoodTrail on July 1, 2009

in Asian, Cooking, Pork, Recipes

Another easy weeknight meal I make once in a while is Chinese BBQ pork (char siu). When eating out at a Chinese restaurant, I tend to stay away from BBQ pork, but that is because most of the time it is overcooked, dry and hard. The BBQ pork I make at home is always moist, tender and flavoursome.

I am quite a lazy cook and avoid making things from scratch when there are tasty and good ready made, store bought alternatives. One of these things is char siu sauce. Lee Kum Kee does all the hard work for you without needing to mix a million different sauces and it tastes great.

I always buy pork neck to use for char siu. There are other cuts of pork which can be used, but if you want your meat to be tender, you can’t go past pork neck. I have to warn you that the pork neck can be rather fatty, but the fat is needed so the meat doesn’t dry out during cooking. What hubby and I do is remove the fat once the meat is cooked.

Pork neck is sold at most butchers as one huge chunk of meat (normally no smaller than 1kg). What you will need to do is cut it into smaller pieces of the same size. I like to keep the length of the meat the same, but cut it into smaller widths. As a guide, a 1.3kg piece of pork neck can be cut into 5 pieces, roughly 10cm long and 5cm in diameter.

All you need to do is put all the pieces in a bowl, then pour over the Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce to a level where all the meat is covered. Stir around the sauce to ensure all meat has been marinated. The sauce will be quite thick but will thin out as the pork releases it juices. Nothing else needs to be added. Leave the pork to marinade overnight in the fridge, turning once or twice.

The next night, the pork will have absorbed the marinade and turned a red colour. The correct way to cook the pork is to hang it from “S” hooks and let the juices drip away while it is being cooked. Other suggestions also include cooking on a rack with water in the tray below. I don’t do either of these things and my pork still turns out tender.

Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. I like to turn the edges up so the sauce doesn’t go everywhere. Take the pork out of the bowl and place on the foil. Reserve the juices in the bowl for basting the pork – don’t include it on the tray yet.

After pre-heating the oven at 220C, put the pork in and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the pork over, baste with the reserved juices and put back in the oven for 10 minutes at 180C. Turn the pork again and baste with juices, then also baste with a thin layer of honey (optional) and bake for an additional 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn it over the pork, baste with juices and honey. The total time in the oven should be 30-35 minutes. This of course depends on how thick your pieces are, so it is wise to test a piece before turning off the oven.

This is how your pieces should look coming out of the oven. You can leave it in the oven for longer if you want it darker but be careful not to overcook. I tend not to use honey so my pork is not so shiny. I find the sauce is sweet enough.

After resting the pork for at least 5 minutes, use a pair of tongs to hold a piece and cut into thin slices for serving. I scrape up the juices from the foil and pour over the cut pork.

If you are not going to eat all the pork, try not to cut it up. The cooked pork freezes well in whole pieces. The leftovers can be reheated and used for example, in fried rice.

P.S. Good news – my tastebuds are all back to normal! Yay! Totally overjoyed at being able to enjoy all sorts of flavours again!

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge July 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Fantastic news on your mouth! Congratulations, you should celebrate with a salty sugar spice taste bonanza! After all, you need to make sure you can taste all the levels of goodness.

I love the bbq pork, looks quite rich and sticky, would be wonderful on some rice like you said.


Anita July 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Thanks for the recommendation of this sauce. I will keep it in mind if I can find it while shopping. It is so difficult to try all the sauces out there, so it's good when you know one has worked – as long as they don't change the recipe!!! 🙂


Rilsta July 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Hi Maria: Thanks! Everything tastes that wee bit better because I am savouring the flavours a bit more!

Hi Anita: Lee Kum Kee has a variety of other sauces, some hits and some misses. I would recommend this one though!


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