Char siew is a Cantonese roast pork product that has gained international recognition. Whether paired with rice, noodles or eaten on its own, char siew is always delicious. Instead of sugar, I opt to uses honey instead to produce a deeper and darker taste.
It is important not to burn the honey when making this Caramelized Char Siew. Although it is delicious caramelized, burnt honey can be very bitter, which will destroy the taste of the char siew.
Pork collar was used in this recipe which gives a leaner char siew with higher meat content. However, I’ve experimented with pork belly as well as it produces a much fattier and richer tasting char siew. Both are equally delicious, and it is up to you to decide which cut of meat you prefer to use.
As a general guideline, but not strictly speaking, leaner char siew goes well when eaten with noodles, while a more fatty char siew pairs better with rice.
2 x 3-inch wide pork collar / pork belly (approx 450 g) – I’m using pork collar
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp honey / maltose
Char Siew Sauce:
½ tsp five-spice powder
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp white pepper powder
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup (250 ml) water
Recipe source: Food Canon
In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
In a large deep pan, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium high heat and add in pork.
Brown each side for 2 -3 mins. If the oil is splattering too much, cover with a lid.
Pour in the sauce, give it a mix to coat the pork and cover.
Simmer over medium low heat for 45 mins until the pork is tender. Turn the pork every 10 mins.
Remove most of the braising liquid, leaving about 2 tbsp in the pan.
Drizzle honey over the pork and turn up heat to high.
Flip the pork in the pan until the exterior is caramelized and slightly charred.
Allow to cool for 10 mins before slicing.