Char Siu (Chinese Sweet Barbecued Pork)

Total Time
4hrs 10mins
Prep 4 hrs
Cook 10 mins

This is a traditional Chinese recipe for pork - the pork is very flavorful and fairly sweet. I had never heard of this until my first trip to Hawaii; now I know what I was missing. I'm posting a companion recipe for this (Cha Siu Bao - barbecued pork buns) in a few days. Prep time includes marinating time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Trim the fat from the pork and cut into chunks; each chunk should be between 2-4 bites.
  2. Blend all remaining ingredients.
  3. The pork and marinade should be fairly bright red- add enough food coloring to give it a nice color.
  4. Marinate for at least 3 and preferable 24 hours.
  5. Broil or grill for 3-4 minutes on a side or until the pork is done through.
Most Helpful

5 5

Very good. I marinated it for a day and then slow cooked it on the BBQ - very good. I also whipped up a little sauce to pour over top of it and the white rice. It consisted of the same ingredients as the marinate but I added a chicken broth with corn starch to make it into more of a sauce. Add some sauteed pea-pods and you have a great meal!!!

I was pleased with how this recipe came out. I used Country Style Ribs, trimmed them well and cut them into chunks. I also broiled them in the oven and they came out great. The only problem with this recipe is that it did not seem sweet enough to me, so next time I think I will add brown sugar to the marinade.

5 5

Really nice char siu recipe. I've made this several times now, and it seems like it's always an impulse item (i.e., I've got a pork chop in the freezer and nothing for dinner, which is in two hours), so I've never given it a long marinating time and it still comes out good (can't wait to see what the 24-hour version is like). I have xiaoshing wine in my pantry so I use that. Also, I cook on a gas grill, indirect medium heat, with a small pan of water directly under the meat (I had an old oven recipe for char siu that did this and it seemed to work well). I might even try indirect low heat for this this some time and see how that comes out. You definitely don't want high direct heat though.