How to roast char siew at home (in 5 easy steps)

Char siew or roast pork is an essential part of the Chinese cuisine, simply because it’s so easy to fall in love with its crispy exterior, tender meat and heavenly flavour when complemented with the right sweet glaze. Yet cooking it is something few would attempt because of its complexities but that shouldn’t stop you from trying, especially if you’ve just invested in a brand new oven. Here’s a quick guide to making your own char siew at home. 

This homemade roast recipe comes courtesy of Alan Lee, chef and manager of Huang Ji Wanton Noodle. 

Serves 6-8


1kg pork shoulder or collar (wu hua rou)
3 tbsp minced garlic
200ml light soya sauce
50ml Chinese cooking wine (hua diao jiu)
2 cubes fermented red beancurd* (hong fu ru or nan ru), finely mashed
3 tbsp fermented red beancurd brine*
100ml black bean paste
180g sugar


1 When buying the pork, ask for it to be sliced into three slabs, each about 3cm thick and 6cm wide. This thickness makes it easy for the marinade to penetrate the meat.
2 Place the pork in a large bowl and add the garlic, soya sauce, Chinese cooking wine, fermented red bean curd and brine. Coat the pork evenly.
3 Add the black bean paste and sugar, and mix evenly. Chill for 3 hours.
4 Preheat the oven to 120 deg C. Place the pork directly on an oven rack, with a baking tray under it to catch the juices. Roast for 20min. Flip the meat over, and increase the oven temperature to 250 deg C. Cook for 7min.
5 Lower the oven to 100 deg C, and let the pork roast for 10min. Then slice it against the grain and serve.

*A salty condiment made from soya beans, red yeast, salt, soya sauce and rice wine, and soaked in brine. It’s available in jars at the Asian condiments section of major supermarkets.

If you like this story, be sure to check our other interesting kitchen tips here:

Article by Cheryl Leong, originally appeared in Simply Her

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