There are some flavors that stick with you from your childhood. Growing up in Hawaii I was exposed to a lot of Asian cuisine. Sweet & sticky Chinese BBQ Pork or Char Siu is one of those dishes that gives me all the feels.
This is not teriyaki flavors or orange chicken… it’s a pungent sweet & sticky mess of Chinese Five Spice, Hoisin Sauce, and the best smokey bbq flavors!
Traditional Char Siu has a very distinct red coloring. They actually put red food dye in the marinade and it seeps into the pork to create a pink ring. This is how I grew up eating it. But when I make it at home, I choose to leave it out.
The key to this whole dish is MARINATE. I’m talking days in this marinade. The longer the better. This allows the marinade to soak deep into the meat to make it tender and oh, so full of flavor! If you haven’t marinated meat for 24 hours before, you are missing out!
The cut of meat used in this recipe is a pork shoulder. It usually comes in a large piece. You don’t want one huge piece of meat. Cut it lengthwise in half. And if you need to cut it into thirds. I suggest to keep your pieces less than 3 inches in diameter.
You can substitute other cuts of meat for this recipe, but the pork shoulder is marbled with fat that keeps the pork moist and tender.
We used our pellet grill to smoke & grill the Char Siu. My husband and I are obsessed with a pellet grill! But any kind of grill or smoker will work as long as you can keep flames from flaring up and burning the meat.
When you put the meat on the pellet grill don’t throw out that marinade! Boil it down for 20 minutes to create a basting sauce. Every 30 minutes bate the meat with the marinade to keep the meat moist and to create a sticky crust.
**If using the marinade that the pork was in makes you squeamish, just whip up another batch of of the marinade to boil down and baste the meat with.
Sweet & Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu)
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup Hoisen Sauce
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 3-4 lb Pork Shoulder
- Cut pork lengthwise in half into longer strips.Whisk together marinade ingredients until well combined.Place pork into large zip top bag, pour marinade over pork. Marinate for a minimum of 12 hours 24-36 hours is best.Heat grill to 300˚ F. Remove pork from marinade and place on grill. Reserve marinade and place in saucepan and boil for 15-20 minutes on med-low. Bast pork with marinade every 30 minutes. Grill for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Pork should be 165˚F when checked by meat thermometer. Remove meat and cover with tinfoil. Allow to rest a minimum of 20 minutes to allow juices to redistribute. Slice thin and serve.
Serve this Chinese BBQ Pork with steamed rice or Chow Mein. This is better than any takeout you have ever ordered! I promise you will go crazy over over the sweet & smokey flavors of this BBQ. If we have any leftovers, I chop up the meat and make a fried rice for lunches for the kids and I.