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Authentic Char Siu Pork Recipe

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Char Siu Pork is a beloved dish in Chinese cuisine, known for its distinct red color and sweet, savory flavor. This recipe will guide you through the process of making restaurant-quality Char Siu Pork at home using pork tenderloin marinated in a rich blend of sauces and spices. Perfect for dinner parties or a special family meal, this dish will surely impress with its delicious taste and beautiful presentation.

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Ingredients

Meat

  • Pork Tenderloin: 2 pieces

Produce

  • Garlic Cloves: 2, grated (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Scallions: For garnish

Condiments

  • Fermented Red Bean Curd Liquid: 3 tablespoons
  • Char Siu Marinade: 2 tablespoons
  • Hoisin Sauce: 3 tablespoons
  • Honey: 3 tablespoons
  • Oyster Sauce: 2 teaspoons
  • Soy Sauce or Tamari: 1/4 cup

Baking & Spices

  • Chinese Five-Spice Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kosher Salt: 1/2 teaspoon

Oils & Vinegars

  • Rice Vinegar: 2 tablespoons
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: 2 teaspoons

Beer, Wine & Liquor

  • Shaoxing Wine or Dry Sherry: 3 tablespoons

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Marinade

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons fermented red bean curd liquid, 2 tablespoons char siu marinade, 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari, 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, and 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry. Mix well to combine.
  2. Add Garlic: Add 2 grated garlic cloves (about 1 teaspoon) to the marinade and stir to incorporate.

Step 2: Marinate the Pork

  1. Marinate Pork: Place the 2 pork tenderloins in a resealable plastic bag or a large dish. Pour the marinade over the pork, ensuring it is well-coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Step 3: Prepare for Cooking

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. This setup will allow the pork to cook evenly and prevent it from sitting in its juices.

Step 4: Roast the Pork

  1. Roast Pork: Remove the pork from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off. Place the pork on the prepared wire rack. Reserve the marinade.
  2. Bake: Roast the pork in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).

Step 5: Glaze and Finish

  1. Create Glaze: While the pork is roasting, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
  2. Baste Pork: Brush the pork with the thickened marinade every 10 minutes during the roasting process to build a flavorful glaze.
  3. Broil: For an extra caramelized finish, broil the pork for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.

Step 6: Serve

  1. Rest Pork: Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  2. Garnish: Slice the pork into thin pieces and garnish with chopped scallions.
  3. Serve: Serve the Char Siu Pork over steamed rice or noodles, with additional marinade drizzled on top if desired.

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes:

  • Marinade Time: Marinating overnight yields the best flavor, but if you’re short on time, try to marinate for at least 4 hours.
  • Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Variations:

  • Grill Option: For a smoky flavor, cook the pork on a grill instead of roasting. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and cook the pork for about 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the marinade.
  • Spicy Version: Add 1 teaspoon of Sriracha or another hot sauce to the marinade for a spicy kick.
  • Gluten-Free: Use tamari instead of soy sauce to make this dish gluten-free.

Keto and Low-Carb Version

Ingredients:

  • Pork Tenderloin: 2 pieces
  • Garlic Cloves: 2, grated (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Scallions: For garnish
  • Fermented Red Bean Curd Liquid: 3 tablespoons
  • Char Siu Marinade: 2 tablespoons
  • Hoisin Sauce: 3 tablespoons (look for a low-carb version)
  • Honey: 3 tablespoons (substitute with a low-carb sweetener like erythritol or monk fruit sweetener)
  • Oyster Sauce: 2 teaspoons (look for a low-carb version)
  • Soy Sauce or Tamari: 1/4 cup
  • Chinese Five-Spice Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kosher Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Rice Vinegar: 2 tablespoons
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: 2 teaspoons
  • Shaoxing Wine or Dry Sherry: 3 tablespoons (substitute with dry white wine or additional rice vinegar for fewer carbs)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Marinade: Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Use low-carb substitutes for honey and other high-carb ingredients.
  2. Marinate and Roast: Follow the same marinating and roasting instructions as the main recipe.
  3. Serve: Serve with cauliflower rice or a low-carb vegetable side dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use another cut of pork for this recipe?

A: Yes, pork shoulder or pork butt works well for a more tender and juicy result, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q: How can I store leftovers?

A: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Q: Can I freeze the marinated pork?

A: Yes, you can freeze the marinated pork for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

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Q: What can I serve with Char Siu Pork?

A: Serve with steamed rice, noodles, or a side of stir-fried vegetables for a complete meal.

Q: Can I make the marinade ahead of time?

A: Yes, the marinade can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

This Char Siu Pork recipe brings the authentic flavors of Chinese barbecue into your kitchen. With its rich, savory, and slightly sweet profile, it’s sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you follow the traditional recipe or opt for the keto/low-carb version, you’ll enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal. Happy cooking!