Char Siu is one of those classic Chinese dishes we all seem to go crazy for here in the UK. That sweet, savoury flavour, the char on a tender piece of pork, it’s enough to make me salivate at just the thought of it.
Whether you’ve got the time for a slow-cooked feast or are looking to make a Wednesday night dinner worth sitting down for, this recipe can be easily adapted to suit one and all.
Made too much (if there is such a thing)? Why not take it a step further and use the latest and greatest award-winning School of Wok bao kits to create a fluffy bun to tuck the leftovers into?
HONG KONG CHAR SIU
SERVES 4–6 IF SERVED WITH SIDE DISHES
2 x 300g (10½oz) pieces of pork neck fillet (swapsies: pork belly slices for extra fat, or pork fillet for a leaner finish)
½ a thumb-size piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon five-spice
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons tomato purée (tomato paste)
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
4 tablespoons honey
Finely chop the ginger and garlic, then mix with all the rest of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Massage the marinade into the pork neck fillets, then cover
and put into the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results (though this dish can be cooked immediately if you’re too hungry to wait).
Place the meat on a grill tray, reserving the marinade for basting.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan (320°F) and roast the pork for1–1½ hours, until well charred on the outside, turning once and basting intermittently with the sauce to get a good caramelized finish on the meat. The slower the cooking process, the more succulent the meat will become.
If barbecuing instead of roasting, get your barbecue temperature as close to 150°C (300°F) as possible and barbecue for 1–1½ hours, until well charred on the outside. Baste as you would in the oven for more flavour and caramelization.
TIP: FOR A QUICK DINNER, YOU CAN ALSO COOK THIS IN A PREHEATED OVEN AT 200°C/180°C FAN (400°F) FOR 20 MINUTES ON EITHER SIDE, TURNING ONCE TO CHAR BOTH SIDES OF THE MEAT AND BASTING EVERY 10 MINUTES OR SO FOR ADDED DEPTH OF FLAVOUR.