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Char Siu Pork

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Char Siu Pork is a popular way to flavor and prepare barbecued pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat.

My ex-father-in-law (who was Chinese) used to without fail to go to Chinatown in downtown Johannesburg on a Saturday, and go to the Chinese deli and buy us a whole lot of dim sum and my favorite was always the Char Siu Pork. I always wanted to learn how to make it, and it took me years to finally get it down to how I remembered it. Particularly how they got it that red color. I found out that simple red food coloring was a perfectly good substitute for the juice of red bean curd.


  • 2 pieces of pork fillet. Prick all over with a big fork.
  • 2 TB juice of red bean curd (I used 2 tsp red food coloring)
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 large minced garlic clove
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • ΒΌ tsp five-spice powder
Char Siu Pork – Cantonese Cuisine


  1. Add the pork fillet to a ziplock bag. Mix all of the above and add them to fillets.
  2. Mix to coat and seal and refrigerate bag overnight or a few hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 200C.
  4. Place on a wire rack, with a tray lined with foil to catch the drippings.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes.
  6. Turn around and baste both sides and bake another 25 minutes.
  7. Brush with honey water (2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp room temperature water) and bake another 1 minute).

Prepared, tried, and tested Melanie Kramar

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