CHINESE BARBECUE PORK (CHAR SIU PORK)

A delicious and simple recipe with step-by-step photos for Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu Pork) which you can make at home with everyday pantry ingredients in just 10 minutes!

char siu pork on metal tray with bok choy and knife and fork


CHAR SIU PORK
One thing I miss about living in Australia is being able to visit the local Chinatown, whether it be for a traditional Dim Sum breakfast, a browse through the colourful aisles of the Vietnamese grocer, or a visit to the Chinese bakery for their light and fluffy cakes.

Something I deeply miss are the restaurants where you can buy one of the Chinese roast ducks on display, as well as their crispy pork belly, or the ever popular Chinese barbecue pork (also known as char siu pork).

There is no Chinatown in Zurich. In fact, the Asian population here is very scant, but we are lucky to have a few amazing Chinese and Vietnamese grocers, as well as a growing number of south-east Asian restaurants.

char siu pork sliced on metal tray with green vegetables and cutlery

That said, I still miss being able to pop into Chinatown to pick up something for a quick dinner. I miss being able to rely on good Chinese takeaway food, and I miss, quite simply, good Chinese takeaway food.

I have always felt that moving to Switzerland made me a better cook. In the absence of being able to buy many food items which I used to enjoy back in Australia, I have had to slowly learn how to recreate most of those dishes at home. Chinese barbecue pork, or char siu pork, is one of those dishes.

And like so many other things which I have re-created at home, making your own Chinese barbecue pork is incredibly easy, and the results are so delicious that this will become a regular dish in your home!

slices of chinese barbecue pork on metal tray with vegetables

WHAT IS CHAR SIU SAUCE?
A char siu sauce is a mix of various Asian pantry ingredients, including soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, and Chinese five-spice powder. I like to add grated fresh ginger to my marinade for a bit of warm heat.

The Chinese barbecue pork that you find in most Chinese restaurants often has a tinge of red in the meat, either from using red fermented tofu in the marinade, or from red food colouring.

Red fermented tofu can be tricky to find, depending on where you live, so my recipe below uses ingredients which are more readily available in most mainstream supermarkets, thus saving you a trip to a specialist Asian grocery store.

Although, if you have easy access to the latter, I highly recommend buying your Asian pantry ingredients there as the brands which they stock are more authentic in taste.

WHAT CUT OF MEAT TO USE FOR CHAR SIU PORK

The cut of meat I like to use for Chinese barbecue pork is pork tenderloin, simply because it is easy for the children to eat, and also because we love the succulence and tenderness of the cut.

HOW TO MAKE CHAR SIU PORK
This char siu pork recipe is so easy that I frequently make this for dinner during the busy week.

Simply mix together all of the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl.