Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Char Siu

My favorite dish
at my favorite Chinese restaurant is
otherwise known as Char Siu,
or Chinese Barbecue Pork.

This dish is crispy, a bit sweet and delicious.

I really want to recreate this dish at home

and have looked long and hard to find a suitable recipe.

There are many recipes for Char Siu out there,

so then it was a matter of picking and choosing which one to try.

Char Siu/Char Siew


is pronounced "chow shoo"

and it means "fork burn/roast."

Char Siu is a popular Cantonese dish.

I finally decided on a recipe for Char Siu
and went to the grocery store to pick out some pork.
Typically, pork belly is used,
but as that cut of meat is not easy to find
in my regular grocery store,
I opted to get pork shoulder blade steak instead.
Bonus, it was on sale for $1.29 a pound.
Here I have gathered:
the pork shoulder blade steak,
1 tablespoon honey,
1/4 cup Tamari,
2 tablespoons sherry,
a pinch of cinnamon,
1 tablespoon brown sugar,
1 green onion sliced in half,
1 clove garlic grated,
and 2 teaspoons red food coloring.

I cut the meat from the bone and trimmed away much of the fat.
I then sliced the meat into strips.

Then the marinade ingredients were mixed together and were combined with the meat in a zip-top bag.

I allowed this to marinate for about three hours.

I lined a roasting pan with foil before placing the rack in the pan.
Then the strips of meat were placed on the rack.
One cup of water was poured into the bottom of the pan.

This roasted at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
I boiled the remaining marinade for one minute
and then used that to occasionally baste the meat.

Jasmine rice and stir-fried veggies accompanied our Char Siu.

The meat was tender and quite tasty,
but it lacked that crispy exterior that I like.
I will be making this dish again,
but with the following changes:
for ease of handling,
I won't cut the meat into such small pieces,
I will double the amount of the marinade,
leaving the measurement for the food coloring the same,
I will substitute a pinch of Chinese Five Spice powder
for the cinnamon,
I will reserve half the marinade for basting
and I will be setting the temperature
of the oven to 375 or 400 degrees.

There were no leftovers from this meal,
so I'd say it was an overall success.
That doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement,


Rosie Hawthorne said...

I'm filing this one in my to do list.
Looks and sounds wonderful.

I have a question. Can you taste the food coloring at all? I used to use it in icings for cakes and stopped since I could detect an unpleasant flavor.

Marilyn said...

I could not taste the food coloring in this dish, but I think the fact that the other flavors are pronounced enough helps with that.