Char Siu Pork Belly

Char Siu Pork Belly

Char Siu is a well-known and verry popular recipe originated in the “Cantonese Cuisine”. The Char siu falls under the “Siu mei” style of recipes. Typical for these recipes are the flavourful sauces coating the meat before it’s cooked over open fire. Mostly a rotiserie is used in this process. Hence the name: Char Siu, literally translated: “Fork Roasted”. Where you have “Siu mei” with goose, duck, chicken, … Char siu is typically made with pork.

Char siu has been high on my bucketlist for a while now… There was always a reason another recipe made it before this one. Mostly because I did not have the ingredients, or I had to many leftovers from other recipes and wanted to use these first, …. Last weekend I saw a chance to finally try a first attempt on this Marinade. Unfortunately because I had to throw away the pork cheeks I was planning to make because they had a nasty smell (Bummer…). I had to come up with a solution on short notice since my BBQ was craving for meat. OK I admit… It was me who wanted to enlight the fire again.

Char Siu

Char siu Pork Belly

My Char Siu version is not the traditional one. It’s based on the first decent recipe I could find at the moment and adjusted a little bit. Given the last moment circumstances I could not find everything needed to come up with a traditional Sauce. So I had to be creative with the ingredients I could find. First of all I had to replace the chinese rice wine by madeira. I couldn’t find the red bean curd either, so I decided to use some beetroot juice for the natural red colour (you won’t taste this since the other flavours are much stronger). The last change I made was by adding some cider vinegar to the recipe. In my opinion the sauce was way to sweet. Adding the Cider Vinegar to the Char Siu sauce lead to a more balanced palate.

Char Siu-8000

Because I had no time to marinate the meat I decided to split the preparation in a period roasting on open fire and a second period on indirect fire. This way I hoped the flavours would have enough time to enter the meat. Besides I also added some vines to the fire to enhance the roasted flavours. The result was verry tasteful and well accompanied by the Cinnamon roasted Parsnip I mentioned before. I think it was delicious for a last call to action, but it remains on my bucketlist. I want to do this again in the traditional way. But am I not allowed to break traditions once in a while? I’m a BBQ Bastard after all…

Char Siu

Char Siu Marinade
  • 1 big piece of Pork (I used 500 gr. Pork Belly)
  • For the Marinade/Glaze:
  • 3 cloves of Garlic (Finely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp . Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp . Malt Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp . Honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp . Hoisinsaus
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp . Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp . Madeira Wine
  • 3 pinches of White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp . 5 Spice
  • 1/2 tsp . Sesam Oil
  • 1 Tbsp . Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp . Beetroot Juice
  1. Prepare your BBQ for direct cooking at 180°/200° C (350°/400°F).

  2. While the coals are heating, you start by slicing the Pork Belly.

  3. Cook the Belly over direct fire for +- 15 minutes skin side up. While doing this I added a little bit of vines to enhance the roasted flavours.

  4. While the meat is roasting you can mix ingredients for the glaze and stir them through.

  5. Bring the sauce to the boiling point and let reduce until you get a thicker glaze.

  6. After 15 minutes of roasting you move the belly to indirect fire. When using a platesetter your temperature will drop a bit. I aimed for 150°C (300°F)

  7. Coat the belly with glaze every 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the Char Siu when you reach an internal temperature of 78°C (170°F)

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