bbq pork

Barbecue Pork aka Char Siew (叉燒)

Barbecue Pork aka Char Siew is probably one of the most recognisable Chinese food and is loved by many around the world.  You can find them hanging in the windows of many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. The glazed pork is tender and has a sweet and savoury flavour with a smoky barbecue taste.

For this recipe, I recommend using either shoulder pork, lean pork belly or scotch fillets as these cuts provide a good balance of lean and fat meat that will give the best flavour when roasted/grilled.

3 Oct 2017: The only change I made today was to add Chinese rose flower wine aka Mei Kiuei Lu Chiew (玫瑰露酒) instead of the usual Chinese cooking wine. This turned out to be the best char siew I have made. It had the right colour and was fragrant and very flavoursome. I have updated the recipe to reflect the change.

Video Link:


750 gm skinless and lean pork belly or shoulder (cut into thick strips)

2 cloves garlic (smashed)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soya sauce

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 1/2 pieces fermented red bean curd (available in most Asian grocery shop)

1 tablespoon Maple syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon Chinese rose flower wine

Dash of white pepper


1. Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and ensure the pork is completely covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight.

2. Place the pork strips on a wire rack over a roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water in the roasting pan to catch oil drips. Add more water if you want some sauce. (Adding 1 inch of water to the roasting pan yielded nearly 1 bowl of gravy.)

3. Roast the pork belly in the fan-forced oven (160C) for 20 minutes.

4. In the meanwhile, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for a few minutes till thickened.

5. After 20 minutes, remove the pork from the oven, flip the pork over and brush the sauce (cooked marinade) over the pork.   Continue roasting in the oven for another 20 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, flip pork over again and brush more marinade over the pork. Place pork back into the oven and roast for 10 minutes.

7. Remove the pork from the oven once more and brush more marinade. Turn the oven setting to “grill” and roast for another 10 minutes till slightly charred.

8. Pour the roasting juices into any remaining marinade and boil to make a gravy for the pork. Add 1 teaspoon of cornflour to thicken the gravy slightly.

9. Slice the Barbecue Pork and serve with the gravy. Barbecue Pork goes extremely well with steamed rice.

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