Cha-siu’s best made with good “3-layer” skinless pork belly. I’ve tried making it several times with different recipes and different cuts of meat. The best recipe the last time I made cha-siu was cooking pork belly in a pot using palm sugar (Cheat’s Cha-Siu (Palm Sugar “BBQ-ed” Pork)).
recipe adapted from Chef and Sommelier
“The perfect cha-siu should be slightly charred, shiny and caramelised on the outside, tender and juicy inside. Once in the mouth, your taste-buds will explode with flavour – sweet and savoury and the right balance of fat layers simply melt in your mouth.”
- 1 kg pork belly (or tenderloin), cut into 2-3cm thick slices, lengthwise
- 500ml apple (or pineapple) juice – optional
- 200g sugar
- 100g oyster sauce
- 4 tbsp chinese rice wine (I used mirin)
- 1 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 1 pc red fermented bean curd (with 1 tbsp of its liquid)
- Pat dry pork.
- Tenderise pork in apple (or pineapple) juice for 3-4 hrs (if doing this). Remove and pat dry.
- Mix all marinade ingredients in a container with lid and leave pork to marinate overnight in fridge.
- Heat oven to 240C in grill and fan-assisted mode.
- Grill pork strips for 10 mins on each side, allowing juice to drip into a baking tray below. (If using tenderloin, reduce cooking time to abt 8-9 mins on each side as these are thinner cuts). (I only grilled my pork belly slices on 3 sides except the bottom meat side.)
- Meanwhile bring leftover marinade to a boil for abt 5 minutes or until it thickens (it took abt 10 mins). Brush sauce onto pork while grilling (every time slices are turned) until each side of pork slices are nicely charred.
- When done, rest cha-siu and reapply a coat of thickened sauce to give it a lovely shiny gloss.
- Slice and serve with noodle or rice and some vegetables.
- I’d recommend using abt 160-180g, if reduced sweetness is preferred..
- Keep leftover sauce and use it like the American bbq sauce in a bottle..
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