Char Siu Pork with Caramelized Onions, Roast Parsnips and Char Siu Gravy

If you are having Chinese and English guests round, this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy both parties. The familiarity of French-style caramelized onions with roasted parsnips and steamed Brussels sprouts fused with delicious Char Siu roast pork fillet and Char Siu gravy makes this unique and full of flavor. It can also make a wonderful change from the usual Sunday roast dinner, and why not indeed? In fact why not try this recipe instead of turkey at Christmas?

Preparation time: 12 minutes plus marinating
Cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 1 x 18 oz pork tenderloin

For the Marinade

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • ½ cup shaosing rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoi sin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 spring onion, sliced lengthways
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Roast Parsnips

  • 14 oz parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small handful of fresh or dried thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Caramelised Onions

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apricot brandy or brandy
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Make slashes in the sides of the pork tenderloin. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the pork for a few hours or for as long as possible, overnight is best.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  3. Remove the pork from the marinade and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour water into the pan to come half way up the sides. Roast the tenderloing for 20 minutes then turn it over and baste with some of the remaining marinade (reserve the rest). Reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  4. At this stage, put the parsnips in a second roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper and put in the oven.
  5. Heat a wok over high heat and add the butter. Throw in the red onions and cook until softened, add the brown sugar and mix well until caramelized. Add the brandy and season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Put the reserved marinade into another small pan and bring to the boil.
  7. Once the pork is cooked, slice and serve with the parsnips and caramelized onions with plenty of the Char Siu gravy drizzled over. It’s also delicious with steamed Chinese broccoli or Brussels sprouts.