Baked Chinese Barbecue Pork Recipe (Char Siu): Bring the Restaurant Home by Ann Marie Patitucci

Pork Dinner Asian Recipes
9 months ago

Baked Chinese Barbecue Pork Recipe (Char Siu): Bring the Restaurant Home

Char siu (叉烧), or Chinese barbecue pork, is a type of Cantonese roast meat. Char siu is its Cantonese name, while in Mandarin it is known as cha shao. The literal translation is "fork roast" referring to the traditional method of cooking this dish: seasoning pork strips and roasting them over a fire or in a covered oven. Some consider this recipe "Chinese restaurant-style pork."

My husband is a passionate carnivore and enjoys cooking pork, so this char siu recipe is more his than mine (note that while char siu is traditionally grilled, this is a recipe for the oven). He loves the marinade and the juicy, tender pork. According to him, while you could use different cuts of pork to make char siu, it’s ideal to use boneless pork shoulder.

This pork recipe isn’t difficult to make but it does require time and patience; a slower, longer cook time makes the meat juicy, which results in fantastic caramelization. Perfect! The barbecue pork is marinated and brushed with a Chinese barbecue sauce, then roasted until a deep, restaurant-quality flavor is reached. My husband recommends serving char siu with rice or noodles.

Note: Traditional char siu gets its authentic red color from an ingredient called fermented red bean curds, which can be hard to find. If the color is important to you, you can use red food coloring. I personally don’t ever add any; it doesn’t impact the flavor, so I’m not worried about it. You could serve it for dinner with this homemade char siu sauce.

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Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 1 to 2 days to marinate
Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours plus marinating time
Serves 6



  • 1 pork shoulder (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons honey


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Recipe Notes

  • If you have leftovers, use the pork shoulder in pork fried rice or add it to stir fry.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a plastic zipper food storage bag or shallow bowl. Add the pork and marinate 24 to 48 hours, or 3 hours minimum. 
  2. Remove the pork from the marinade and put onto a foil-lined baking sheet. (Save the marinade!) Roast in a preheated 325-degree F oven for about 30 minutes. 
  3. While the pork cooks, pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan. Add the 2 tablespoons of honey. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until it reaches a syrup consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and brush it on both sides with the marinade. Cook another 30 minutes. Remove the pork again and brush it all over with the marinade. Continue to cook about 20 minutes. (If the pork is getting to dark, cover it with foil.) Brush the pork one more time and cook for about 10 more minutes or until caramelized and sticky. (Meat should be fork-tender.) Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle with any remaining marinade. 

Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Elisa Schmitz
Oh, my Ann Marie Patitucci . My mouth is literally watering. Must make this soon! #yum
Looks amazing will definitely be making
Gosh, Ann Marie Patitucci ! I love char siu, so this recipe is definitely going on my list. Thanks to you, and your hubs, for sharing!

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