Char Siu

Oh My! I love these even better than the Boneless Spare Ribs I just made! The finishing marinade is a lot sweeter. And I love it flavorful and sweet!
I got this great recipe from The Woks of Life. They looked delicious on their blog and came out even more delicious!

Char siu is pork marinated in a sweet BBQ sauce and then roasted. A good char siu recipe has depth of flavor––a salty/sweet contrast with a hint of spice that compliments the pork and allows it to stand alone with just a simple mound of steamed rice.

If you are sick of getting ripped off on Chinese take out like I am, you will love this recipe. I have NEVER been to a Chinese restaurant that had boneless spare ribs this good!

They’re made from a very inexpensive cut of meat…port butt or pork shoulder.

They do have to marinate at least 12 hours, but they are well worth it.

Baking these until the edges are super crispy are my favorite part.

It’s hard to believe something so delicious is so easy to make!

You mix all marinating ingredients together.

Place marinade and meat in a ziptop bag and marinate for 12 hours.

Then you bake by putting on a rack in the oven and baking for 40 minutes.

Baste with marinade and honey and bake 10 more minutes.

Cut into thin slices.

That’s it!

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Char Siu

  • Author: Afoodieaffair



3 pounds boneless pork shoulder/pork butt (select a piece with some good fat on it)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons molasses
1/8 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
1 clove finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon hot water


Cut the pork into long strips or chunks about 2 to 3 inches thick. Don’t trim any excess fat, as it will render off and add flavor.

Combine the sugar, salt, five spice powder, white pepper, sesame oil, wine, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, molasses, brown sugar, food coloring (if using), and garlic in a bowl to make the marinade.

Reserve about 2 tablespoons of marinade and set it aside. Rub the pork with the rest of the marinade in a ziptop bag. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours. Cover and store the reserved marinade in the fridge as well.

Preheat your oven to ‘bake’ at 475 F (246 C) with a rack positioned in the upper third of the oven.  

Line a sheet pan with foil and place a metal rack on top. Using the metal rack keeps the pork off of the pan and allows it to roast more evenly. Place the pork on the rack, leaving as much space as possible between pieces. Pour 1 ½ cups water into the pan below the rack. This prevents any drippings from burning or smoking.

Transfer the pork to your preheated oven. Roast for 25 minutes, keeping the oven setting at 475 F for the first 10 minutes of roasting, and then reduce your oven temperature to 375 F.

After 25 minutes, flip the pork. If the bottom of the pan is dry, add another cup of water. Turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even roasting. Roast another 15 minutes. Throughout the roasting time, check your char siu often (every 10 minutes) and reduce the oven temperature if it looks like it is burning!

Meanwhile, combine the reserved marinade with the honey and 1 tablespoon hot water. This will be the sauce you’ll use for basting the pork.

Baste the pork, flip it, and baste the other side as well. Roast for a final 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and baste with the last bit of reserved BBQ sauce. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing, and enjoy!

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