How To Make Char Siu (Cantonese BBQ Pork)

If you have walked past a Cantonese restaurant, you must have seen all the different barbequed meats hanging in their front window display. One of them is char siu, a popular Cantonese pork barbeque. Char siu literally means fork roast. The name came from the traditional way of cooking the dish where long strips of seasoned boneless pork are skewered onto long forks and roasted. This succulent sweet savory pork dish is typically served with rice or noodles or stuffed in buns.

This recipe will teach you how to create an authentic char siu at home. You can keep the marinated pork in the freezer and just roast them if you are having guests at home.


• 1 kilogram of boneless pork shoulder, sliced into 1-inch thick portions
• ⅗ cup of sugar
• ⅙ cup of rose wine
• ⅜ cup of regular soy sauce
• 1 tbsp oyster sauce
• 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
• 1 tbsp ground bean sauce
• ⅕ cup of minced shallot
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp white pepper powder
• 1 ½ tsp five spice powder
• 1 tbsp ginger powder
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp dark soy sauce
• 1 tbsp sesame oil


• 350 grams of maltose
• ½ cup of brown sugar
• ½ cup of water


This recipe takes about 20 minutes to make. The pork needs to marinate for a total of 9 hours and roast for 35 minutes in the oven. Serves 8.

Place pork in an aluminum pan and rub sugar all over the pork.
Rub rose wine all over the pork.
Cover tray with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 3 hours.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the sauce; regular soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, ground bean sauce, shallot, salt, white pepper powder, five spice powder, ginger powder, garlic powder, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Pour sauce on the marinated pork and massage sauce onto the pork to make sure the sauce penetrates the meat.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge. Let the pork marinate for another 4 to 6 hours.
Place wire rack on a roasting pan or drip tray.
Place the pork on the wire rack.
Roast in the oven at 325°F for 15 minutes.
Baste the pork with the marinade and put it back in the over to roast for another 10 minutes.
To prepare the glaze, mix maltose, brown sugar, and water in a pot and let it simmer.
Brush glaze all over the pork.
Turn up the oven temperature to 400°F and roast the pork for another 10 minutes.
Turn the oven off and keep the pork in the oven for 10 more minutes.
Slice the char siu into thin slices and serve.

Ideas And Tips:

• Honey is a much sweeter than maltose. If you can’t find maltose, you can use 175 grams of honey for the glaze.

• If you have hooks, you can hang the pork on the hooks just make sure you place a drip tray under the pork while roasting in the oven.

• Lean pork cut is not good for making char siu because the meat will be too dry when cooked. Neck and belly are also good cuts to use.

How To Make Char Siu (Cantonese BBQ Pork)
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