Char Siew

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Although its preparation does take some time, char siew or Chinese roasted pork is not difficult to make at home—and it is definitely better than the garishly red commercially prepared versions. If you have a good pork butcher, ask him to cut the meat for char siew and he will slice it into strips of the right dimensions. You can also slice the pork yourself using a sharp chef’s knife.


  • Well-marbled pork shoulder meat 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz)


  • Garlic 6 cloves, peeled and pounded
  • Shaoxing rice wine or rose rice wine 3 Tbsp
  • Sugar 3 Tbsp
  • Plum sauce 2 Tbsp
  • Superior light soy sauce Tbsp
  • Preserved soy bean paste (taucheo) Tbsp, drained and pounded
  • Superior thick dark soy sauce 1 Tbsp
  • Red fermented bean curd (nam yee), mashed 1 Tbsp


  • Honey 4 Tbsp
  • Hot water 3 Tbsp
  • Superior thick dark soy sauce ½ Tbsp


  1. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a large bowl and stir until blended.
  2. Cut pork into long strips about 4-cm (1½-in) thick. Add to marinade and mix very well. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate, refrigerated, for 4–6 hours. Stir and turn pork strips every 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C (440°F). Have ready a large roasting tin. Place a metal rack in the tin so it sits about 4 cm (1½ in) above the bottom of the tin.
  4. Lay marinated pork strips on the metal rack, spacing them at least 4 cm (-in) apart. Pour water into the roasting tin to a depth of 1–1.5 cm (½–¾ in). Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Mix all ingredients for glaze together. Turn pork strips over and brush with glaze. Lower oven heat to 200°C (400°F) and roast for another 15–20 minutes, brushing pork with glaze every 5 minutes or so, until pork is just cooked through and slightly burnt at the edges.
  6. Remove char siew from oven and transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and let it rest for 15–20 minutes before slicing.
  7. Serve with rice and other side dishes if desired.