Char Siu......the glazed red roasted pork hanging on the restaurant windows of Chinatowns throughout the world. Often served along with roast duck and pork belly on a bed of rice or noodles. You will also find Char Siu in many Chinese takeaways dishes like special Chow Mein or Yung Chow fried rice. However, it's never as delicious as when it's hot out of the oven in a Hong Kong barbeque restaurant.....or when it's made yourself.
- Pork Shoulder 2kg
- Sesame Oil 1 Teaspoon
- Light soy sauce-2 Tablespoons
- Roast red pork seasoning (available in Asian supermarkets)
- Water 20ml
- Apple Cider Vinegar 3 Tablespoons
- Shaoxing cooking wine 3 Tablespoons
- Chilli Oil (optional)
- Brown Sugar 1 Teaspoon
1. The first stage is to marinade-cut the pork shoulder into chunks and place into a large mixing bowl along with the red pork seasoning, water, sesame oil and soy sauce. Ensure all pieces are well coated and marinate overnight if possible. After 24 hours the pork should have absorbed the seasoning and have a bright red appearance as in the pic above.
2. Remove the pork from the mixing bowl and ensure you keep the marinade as this will form the base of the glaze used when cooking on the grill.
3. Add the marinade to a hot pan and reduce for around 10 minutes or until it thickens to a consistency that when you drag a spoon across the pan it doesn't fill the space as below. Now add the brown sugar, cider vinegar and shaoxing wine and mix. The wine and vinegar will give the sauce a bit of much-needed acidity that will work excellently well with the rich pork. This is the glaze you will use to coat the pork when cooking.
4. If you are cooking over charcoal, which is recommended, ensure the coals are white with no flames otherwise the pork will burn easily. Set the grill up with two zones, one with charcoal and one without. Cook each side for around 3 minutes directly over the heat until nicely charred.
5. After cooking each side for 3 minutes it's time to add the glaze which will add another flavour profile to the pork and help add to the striking red colour.
6. After cooking directly over the hot coals it's time to cook the pork for a further 8-10 minutes indirectly. So move the pork to the other side of the grill (not directly above the coals) and close the lid.
7. After 10 minutes cut the thickest piece of pork and check how it is cooked. Contrary to popular belief pork can be served medium which will ensure it is at its utmost tenderness. As the temperature of your grill won't exactly match mine continue to cook to your preference if necessary.
8. Once cooked remove and let the pork rest for 10-15 minutes. I served with some simple jasmine rice, pak choi and a drizzle of chilli oil.