Char Siu (BBQ Pork Belly)
Chinese roasted pork belly – BEST pork belly or char siu ever. Marinated with honey, hoisin sauce, a zillion times better than Chinatown | rasamalaysia.com
1 lb (450 g) skinless pork belly, cut into 2 long strips
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
Char Siu Sauce:
2 pieces Chinese fermented red bean curd 1 tablespoon maltose
1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark and thick soy sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
3 1/2 oz (100 g) sugar, or 8 1/2 tablespoons
2. The next day, heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3. Place the pork belly on a wire rack and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Removed from oven and turn the pork belly over, brush the remaining char siu sauce over and place the pork belly back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until cooked. The char siu will look dark in color, it’s normal.
5. Slice the char siu into thin and bite-size pieces, serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Char Siu, or Chinese BBQ pork is one of the most popular pork dishes in Chinese/Cantonese cuisine. If you have been to Chinatown, I am sure you have seen BBQ meats (roasted pork belly, duck, chicken, etc.) hanging in front of the Chinese BBQ restaurants. To many Chinese, the mere mention of char siu would conjure up a mental picture of juicy, tender, savory, fatty BBQ pork belly dripping in a savory, sticky, and uber delicious sauce, sliced into thin pieces and served with steaming white rice. Char siu is the epitome of the Cantonese BBQ dishes, if roast pork belly (Siu Yuk) is the king, then char siu would be the queen. A good char siu, when done and executed to perfection, is one of the best things to savor in the world, really!
Today, I am sharing a new recipe I found on Facebook, which rivals, if not better than the other char siu recipe I learn from my friend S. The taste reminds every bit of the best char siu found in Malaysia. Even though char siu is probably originated from Hong Kong, but I will have to say that when it comes to the best char siu, especially pork belly char siu, they are found in Malaysia. I think many people would agree with me if you have tasted the quality of char siu in the best chicken rice/BBQ meat stalls in Malaysia. I have a picky eater son, but the last trip I took him back to Penang a few months ago, he fell in love with char siu rice in Penang. We always went to one of the best ones in Penang, and he was instantly hooked. He called it “Chinese honey bacon,” which is quite aptly so. After we came back to California, I scouted for the best char siu in Irvine, but at the first bite of the pink-color, dry, tasteless, thick pieces of char siu, he told me that he didn’t like the taste, and that the ones back in Penang is better. Yes, he is absolutely right. I just don’t understand why the Cantonese chefs here can’t make a decent char siu comparable to the ones in Malaysia. Oh well, I had to make my own to satiate my son’s craving. This char siu recipe is totally legit, and super easy to make. Try it and you’ll have the best char siu you can possibly have, and definitely much better than the ones you get at Chinatown. Guaranteed!