Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Char Siu!!

This is photo documentation and step by step instruction on the basic process involved in making char siu (chinese), Charshu or Charsyu (japanese) braised seasoned pork....

This is a classic component in many chinese and japanese recipes and a common topping for ramen noodles.

Char Siu

  • 3 pounds pork (fresh butt, shoulder or belly will all work fine.... for this recipe i have used 1.5# butt and 1.5# shoulder to compare the final product)
  • 2 cups shoyu or soy sauce
  • 2 cups sake
  • 2 cups mirin (or granulated sugar)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger


1. tie the pork in two 1 1/2 pound logs with 6 or 7 lengths of butcher twine

2. sear the pork on high heat in canola oil untill golden brown on all sides

3. Chop the chives, grate the ginger on a cheese grater using the smallest shredding teeth and gather the rest of the liquid ingredients

4. remove the seared pork from the pan and place in a roasting pan big enough to contain the pork and the liquid (which will go half way up the side of the pork)

5. drain off the fat from the seared pork and add the ginger, scallion, mirin, soy, water and sake. using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula stir the liquid while scraping the bottom of the pan to loose anything stuck

6. pour the liquid over the pork and place the roasting pan on the middle rack of a 325 degree oven and braise for approximately 2 hours.... turn the pork or baste with the liquid every 30 minutes. adjust consistancy of the liquid with extra water as needed. there is alot of sugar in the mix so besure not to let it over reduce and burn.

7. when you remove it from the oven it should be shiny and glazed while being tender enough to cut easily with a knife. strain off the liquid to remove the ginger and scallion and any other foreign matter and cool the pork in the liquid to keep the meat from drying out.

8. this is Char Siu your finished product... the shoulder is on the left and the boston butt is on the right. shoulder is a less expensive product and also inferior in quality; the butt should run you around $2.00 a pound and yields a better product. pork belly is probably the best cut for this dish though and runs around $2.35/lb in chinatown. this product should be cooled and put in the fridge within two hours and can be stored cold for up to 7 days. The remaining liquid can be used as seasoning, thinned out and reused for your next batch of pork or simply thrown away.

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