I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she was complaining that ‘char siew, siu yok fan‘ (BBQ pork and Crispy Pork Belly with Rice) nowadays costs like RM6.50 here. I have been out of the employment scene ever since my son was born so I haven’t been eating out all that much but if I recall, you could get a decent dish or char siew rice for just RM4.50 2 years ago. Gosh, how prices have catapulted soooo ridiculously. So again, make it yourself and you can have as much as you’d like.
If I ever have a culinary aim, it is to master making these two Chinese pork dishes, the char siew (BBQ pork) and the siu yok (Crispy Pork Belly). I love siu yok but I find it more challenging to cook compared to char siew. So I’ll start off with the relatively easy one first. Char siew goes with anything….even my husband has been nudging me to make his favourite kampua noodles with char siew, Sitiawan style.
I made my marinade from scratch. I know they have this pre-made sauce for you (above) and they’re actually not too bad either but looking at the ingredients of the recipe, I already have like 90% of the stuff in my pantry, say for this (below);
This is maltose, it’s basically malt sugar and it is what gives the char siew that shiny and sticky glaze on top. The honey and maltose also helps give the char siew the characteristic charring.
I think the next time I would try pork belly for this recipe, although the char siew turned out good, it was a bit too lean for my liking. I wanted some FAT. But if you prefer lean meat, then I’d go with the loin or shoulder.
CHAR SIEW PORK RECIPE
Taken and adapted slightly from Rasa Malaysia, I doubled the portions because I had quite a big pork loin
Pork loin / shoulder cut to 3 big chunks
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Char Siew Sauce / Marinade:
3 tablespoons maltose
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. In a pot over low heat, mix all the marinade ingredients together and heat till you have a thick consistency. The said amount should yield about one cup.
2. Let the sauce cool, pour about 2/3 cup of the marinade into a sandwich bag together with the pork and garlic slices. Marinade for 24 hours in the fridge.
3. Mix sunflower oil to the rest of the sauce and keep in a container for later.
4. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Shake off the excess marinade from the pork and place them on a rack in a deep pan. I do this to prevent the pork burning and sticking at the bottom.
5. Roast for 20 – 30 mins. When it’s done, brush on more of the sauce all over the meat. The original creator says to skewer the meat and she just char them over the stove top, I’m not sure what that means whether she did it on an open fire or she used a pan.
6. I used my grill pan to give it that slight char. You can also use your outdoor grill for this.
7. Baste the meat occasionally with the sauce. When it’s done charring, let the meat rest for 20 mins before slicing.
8. Eat with the remaining sauce or with some chilli dipping sauce (below).
To get the recipe, click here. I just replaced the chillies
with normal red ones instead of the green bird’s eye