Char Siu 叉燒

Char Siu (叉燒) is one of the dishes that I miss the most after I came to Unites States for education. Back in my hometown, which is Malaysia, it is a popular dish within the Chinese community. We normally pair it with white rice or noodles that drenched in sweet gravy or drizzled with dark soy sauce.

History of Char Siu

” Char siu literally means “fork roasted”. Long strips of seasoned boneless pork are skewered with long forks and placed in a covered oven or over a fire.

In ancient times, wild boar and other available meats were used to make char siu. In modern times, the meat is typically a shoulder cut of domestic pork, seasoned with a mixture of honey, five-spice powder, red fermented bean curd, dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce and rice wine (optional).

These seasonings turn the exterior layer of the meat dark red, similar to the “smoke ring” of American barbecues. Honey/Maltose may be used to give char siu its characteristic shiny glaze. —Wikipedia — “

Char Siu Recipe

Time : 20 minutes active time + 30 minutes in oven + 10 minutes for color


  • 500g pork


  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 60ml Honey
  • 2g Salt
  • Dashes of Five Spice Powder and White Pepper


  1. Mix the above until they are well-incorporated. You can melt them in a sauce pan with low heat.
  2. Marinate the pork with the above ingredient for at least 4 hours. Preferably overnight to make it taste better 🙂

Cooking Procedure

  1. Preheat your oven to 480F/ 250C.
  2. When it reaches the temperature, turn it back down to 350F / 180C.
  3. Put your marinated pork into the oven in the middle rack and cook for ~25 minutes. Note : Flip them every 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove them from the oven. Apply a layer of the marinade and then honey.
  5. For air fryer version, five minutes each side with 350F / 180C.
    Oven version : 300F/ 150C for five minutes.
Note / Learning
  • I did baby sit the overall process to make sure that I did not burn my Char Siu. So maybe you have to adjust the timing accordingly.
  • Personally I like sweeter Char Siu, the amount of honey was just right for me. But if you like something that is less dense, you can try to play around with the amount.
  • Pork Selection : I used the part near to the pork neck. It was so juciy. I think to make good char siu, the meat that you choose should consist a balanced part of fatty and lean part.
  • For noodle / rice, DARK SOY SAUCE and fried shallot oil are the keys! The dark soy sauce should be with stickiness and brings some sweetness.

Published by foodi_byte

An engineer who has passion on photography, food and coffee.

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