Char siu is a popular way to flavor and to 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 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 tblsp light soya sauce
1 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tblsp hoisin sauce
1 tblsp dark soya sauce
1 tblsp Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tblsp honey
4 tblsp brown sugar
1 large minced garlic clove
1 dash white pepper
¼ tsp five spice powder
Add the pork fillet to a ziplock bag. Mix all of the above and add to fillets.
Mix to coat and seal and refrigerate bag overnight or a few hours.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Place on wire rack, with a tray lined with foil to catch the drippings.
Roast for 25 minutes.
Turn around and baste both sides and bake another 25 minutes.
Brush with honey water (2 tblsp honey and 2 tblsp room temperature water) and bake another 1 minute).
Prepared, tried and tested Melanie Kramar