Just PassingThru's Char Siu Recipe

Discussion in 'Pork' started by justpassingthru, May 25, 2011.

  1. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    NW Dave's suggestion for my Char Siu recipe has generated a few PM's.

    Here's the recipe for all of you that might want to try it, those that received a PM will see I just copied and pasted and changed the pertinent geographical info (it got kinda busy for awhile here).  LOL

    I used pork butt, but I sure it would work with any cut of pork and thanks Dave for the chicken idea, that will be something new for me to try.

    I would be happy to share the Char Siu recipe with you.

    Here's my Char Siu, it's Cantonese style because that is the style of Chinese cooking I grew up with in California.


    Char Siu

    1 pound pork shoulder cut into 1 1/2" x 1/2" strips (smaller pieces=more marinade)

    1 1/2 Tbls maltose

    1 1/2 Tbls honey

    1/1/2 Tbls Hoisin sauce

    1 Tbls Rosewater  wine

    3 dashes white pepper

    a couple of drops of red food coloring (I leave this out, it doesn't affect the taste)

    1/2 tsp Chinese five spice

    1/2 tsp Sesame oil

    Combine all ingredient, except sesame oil, in a saucepan and heat to 180°, remove from heat and stir in sesame oil, allow to cool to room temp.

    When cool place in baggie with pork and marinate over night.

    When I first started making this I had so many requests for it that I made up to 3 pounds at a time, all I did is just multiply the recipe by three, so if you want to make more than one pound just multiply by the pounds of pork you are using.

    You can buy the maltose and rosewater wine in a Chinese specialty store (they are staples in Chinese cooking), around here we have one on every corner, I don't know what you might have in your area.

    The maltose is super sticky, I nuke it in the microwave 15 seconds to make it more manageable (you'll see), I use my Thermapen for heating to 180° because the honey breaks down after that and the rosewater loses it's delicate flavor. When it's time to cook I just take it out of the baggie, no rinsing and cook, most of the sweetness cooks out and leaves the flavor of the other ingredients, at first I smoked it, then I cooked it in the smoker without smoke (authentic Char Siu isn't smoked, just BBQ'd), then I became impatient and Q'd it on the Genesis, if you do it this way, be sure and grill it indirect, ...direct grilling produces small lumps of carbon, I cook to an internal of 140°-145° (now I read that this temp has been approved).

    This recipe is super simple and super easy, everyone that has tried my Char Siu has really liked it and suggested I should sell it, I just don't have the time, ...they cook it Saturday night and sell it Sunday mornings by the tons at the farmer's market.

    I hope you enjoy it.

    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow that looks great Gene - Adding that one to the to do list for sure. Thanks for sharing it
  3. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Gene, this is going on top of the list.  The pork is still on sale.  I have an excellent Asian Grocery just over the way, where I pick up my Oolong and Gunpowder Teas.  Leaf only, of course.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gene, Morning.

    Copied your recipe and headin' to the store for ingredients. Omak's a pretty small town and hope W-mart has maltose and Rosewater wine. Would you suggest substitutes? I do not know what either ingredient is like and could not guess what to sub?

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Gene, It's printed & in my recipe folder.
  6. kk7mf

    kk7mf Newbie



    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  7. I have copied this also and have it in my to do list. Thanks Gene!
  8. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Gary, Thanks, the ingredients should fit right in with your gastronomic talents.

    NWDave, I hope you like it, I like tea, back in the '80's I was reading the Clavell series and he got me interested in something different from Lipton tea bags.  LOL

    DaveOmak, The ingredients each add to the flavor profile, I don't know what you could use as a sub, if you find a Chinese store they will surely have them.  If not I'll post one of my first Char Siu recipes below, the ingredients should be easier to find.

    AL, Thanks for looking.

    kk7mf, Just some friendly advice, I'm not too sure I would want my phone number plastered all over the web for everyone to see, ...I hope you and Dave hook up and post some Q-view.

    David, Thank you, I hope you enjoy it.



    3 lbs lean pork loin (cut into strips)
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
    ¼ cup hoisin sauce      
    ¼ cup honey
    1 tablespoon rice wine (or sherry)
    1 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

    Mix all ingredients together in a Zip-Loc bag, add pork and marinate overnight in the fridge.

  9. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lol.....I was going to PM Gene this am with the same question but ran out of time and had to get ready for work. I was thinking a molasses for the maltose but not really sure.
  10. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Dan, Hi

    The ingredients listed in maltose is rice and malt and it's as thick as STP at 32°, it's not too sweet just sticky, but it has a distinct flavor, it's kind of like the glue that holds the other ingredients on the pork and it only costs about $2.50 so it's not like it's something exotic, it's just what the Chinese use a lot of in their "sticky" dishes.

    Here's the container.


    Like STP in the winter.


    I hope that helps, isn't molasses made from sugar cane, I don't think it would be close in flavor to this.

  11. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the reply Gene, I was thinking a Char Siu   sausage would be interesting. I'll have to look around town for some but might go with some dextrose instead if push comes to shove. thanks for the low down on it's flavor and viscosity,  lol

    When I get the wine and maltose I'll try your recipe cause the wife and kid love asian food and it might be a nice treat.
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used piloncillo (mex cane sugar) in place of maltose. It has no molasses in it. Stuff I read talked about its unique flavor profile. I will have a thread soon on this recipe for char siu. The sauce was really good.

  13. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Looks good Dave, how's the taste?

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Should be done in a few hours. I've got toasted sesame seeds left from the first batch.

    Now to mix up hot chinese mustard.  [​IMG]
  15. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    "Hot Chinese Mustard!"  I forgot about that stuff, they served it in a small saucer about 3" in diameter with a blob of ketchup in the middle, ...wanna share your recipe?

  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Mix with cold water into a semi thick paste in a small bowl. Turn upside down on a platter or seal with an air tight lid. Wait 30 min. Nasal cleaning hot !!!!  I have seen it at groceries but the price is about $50/#. I buy it a # at a time from the folks above. It doesn't go bad. Had dthis batch for 6/yrs, I also use it for dipping beef tongue in sesame seeds, adding to macaroni salads etc. Once you get past the heat the flavor is something else.
  17. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for the recipe gene......... char siu looks great

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