[Non-halal] Along with siew yoke and roast chicken, char siew (Chinese BBQ pork) is one of our favourite dishes. It is also lunch staple for many Chinese Malaysians.
This recipe is for the Malaysian-style char siew – which is caramelised, tender, slightly charred and very delicious!
I realised that not all char siews are made equally around the world. I tried a famous one in Hong Kong, and I did not enjoy it at all. The meat was very dry and lean, and colour was in a light red hue. Malaysian-style char siew is way more delicious than the HK-style BBQ pork (and cheaper as well).
Char siew is also very to easy to make at home provided you have all the right ingredients. It’s even easier nowadays as you can just get the Chinese BBQ marinade at the local supermarket.
This recipe however, calls for a few key ingredients to make a delicious char siew – namely hoi sin sauce, 5-spice powder, soy sauce and oyster sauce. While tauchu (fermented yellow beans) is not necessary, I thought it did give an extra oomph of flavour!
So here’s our take on the lovely, sticky, savoury-sweet caramelised goodness. Honestly, it’s so easy to make at home – and beats most of the char siews outside (especially wantan mee stalls where char siew is not the focus). Some of our favourite chicken rice shops that make delicious, caramelised melt-in-mouth char siew include Meng Kee Char Siew in Glenmarie, and Toast & Roast in SS2.
Fresh pork is especially key for that melt-in-your-mouth fat (I use An Xin’s Pearl Pork), and caramelisation is all about the marinade and sufficient time in the oven.
I used pork belly to make my char siew – pork shoulder is also a good cut for char siew. A nice cut of lean meat with fat in between is ideal to get juicy and delicious char siew.
For videos and step-by-step process, check out our Instagram post at @thokohmakan here.
Char Siew [Recipe]Course: LunchCuisine: Chinese, MalaysianDifficulty: Easy
An easy-to-make recipe to make delicious Malaysian-style char siew (Chinese BBQ pork).
500g pork belly
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tbp tauchu (fermented yellow beans)
8 garlic cloves, minced
- Wash and pat dry pork belly. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and marinade the pork belly. Let the meat rest overnight in a fridge, or for a few hours.
- If left in the fridge, let it rest in room temperature for awhile before roasting. Place belly in oven (PERSONAL TIP: place on a wire rack with foil at the bottom to save cleaning later). You may keep remaining marinade sauce for basting later.
- Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. Monitor meat occasionally as ovens differ for every kitchen. It is should be nicely charred at the edges when done.
- After 20 mins, turn the other side. You may brush/baste the meat with the remaining marinade. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the meat is nicely caramelised with bits of charred edges.
- Remove meat from oven. Let it cool down and cut into bite-size. Serve!
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