Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

I have always thought that Pork Egg Foo Young is a good indicator of how good a Chinese restaurant but never made it for myself. Char Sis is a key ingredient for Pork Foo Young and Pork Fried Rice.





3 lbs boneless pork shoulder/pork butt (select a piece with some good fat on it)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp five spice powder
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs Shaoxing rice wine
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons molasses
1/8 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
3 cloves finely minced garlic
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs hot water


  1. Cut the pork into long strips or chunks about 2 to 3 inches thick. Don’t trim any excess fat, as it will render off and add flavor.
  2. Combine the sugar, salt, five spice powder, white pepper, sesame oil, wine, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, molasses, food coloring (if using), and garlic in a bowl to make the marinade (i.e. the BBQ sauce).
  3. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of marinade and set it aside. Rub the pork with the rest of the marinade in a large bowl or baking dish.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours. Cover and store the reserved marinade in the fridge as well.
  5. Preheat your oven to ‘bake’ at 475 F (246 C) with a rack positioned in the upper third of the oven.
  6. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a metal rack on top. Place the pork on the rack, leaving as much space as possible between pieces. Pour 1 ½ cups water into the pan below the rack. This prevents any drippings from burning or smoking.
  7. Transfer the pork to your preheated oven. Roast for 25 minutes, keeping the oven setting at 475 F for the first 10 minutes of roasting, and then reduce your temperature to 375 F (190 C).
  8. After 25 minutes, flip the pork. If the bottom of the pan is dry, add another cup of water. Turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even roasting. Roast another 15 minutes. Check your char siu often (every 10 minutes) and reduce the oven temperature if it looks like it is burning.
  9. Meanwhile, combine the reserved marinade with the honey and 1 Tbs hot water for basting the pork.
  10. After 40 minutes of total roasting time, baste the pork, flip it, and baste the other side as well. Roast for a final 10 minutes.
  11. By now, the pork has cooked for 50 minutes total. It should be cooked through and caramelized on top. Use a meat thermometer to check if the internal temperature of the pork has reached 160 degrees F.
  12. Remove from the oven and baste with the last bit of reserved BBQ sauce. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing, and enjoy!