The ubiquitous char siu aka caramelized pork parts has been with us Singaporeans for many years now. How many years exactly, I don’t really know. I guess some folks must have brought it from Hong Kong maybe?
I think it must have come from Hong Kong. When I went visiting there were a lot of people selling char siu over there. Anyway whether it is from there or it was from here and eventually got everywhere. I just want to know if I can make it in my kitchen.
So my friend Sandy made Char Siu the other day and it looked yummy. So I followed the link to the recipe and realised that it must be the simplest recipe in the world. It was so simple that the author spent much of the entire blog post filling it up with words and small talk.
Anyway, I decided to make it. And it is really that easy. Just some things to take note and you are good to go.
1 whole Yo Lai pork (if you are not sure what yo lai is.. Just ask your butcher. He will probably tell you to yo lai and point to you the part with the sharp edge of his cleaver.)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp 5 Spice Powder
1 tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Dark Soya Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Seed Oil
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp HoiSin sauce (I got the Lee Kum Kee one just because it was convenient)
1 tbsp Hua Tiao Jiu (aka chinese cooking wine)
2 tbsp Honey (I used Manuka honey because I like only the best, but any old honey will be suffice.. Don’t be too eager to mix the honey in the marinate.. The honey go last when the char siu is almost done.. )
1 bowl of Warm Water
1. Dry the yo lai pork. Cut into two parts. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a metal wok (cook this only in a metal wok/pan and not a non-stick wok/pan). Once oil is heated, place the yo lai into the pan and sear the meat. The pork is likely to get stuck on the pan, but that’s the price you pay for being a purist.
2. Fry the yo lai pork for about 5 minutes or less. You really only want to brown the meat. Once that is done add all the ingredients into the pan.
3. Mixing the marinate couldn’t have been easier. It is not rocket science. Just mix everything in a bowl. Add water to mix it up. Reserve the honey for later.
4. Pour the marinate into the pan with the yo lai. Cover the pan for 20 minutes. Then lower the fire and just stir fry the pork until the marinate dries up. There is hardly any liquid left in the pan once the full 40 minutes is completed.
5. The Char Siu by now should be nicely braised. The sauce would have thickened to almost nothing. After you take the meat out, plate it and glazed it with the honey.
6. Serve with coriander or whatever herb that you like.
Char Siu before slicing
Braising the pork