Sure, the Peking ducks were cool, but they actually sort of looked like roasted duck, where as the char siu looked looked like nothing I’d ever seen before.
So, it was a little disappointing to eventually find out that it was from copious amounts of red food coloring, which I’m pretty sure was toxic back then, and not from some ancient Chinese secret cooking method. Anyway, enough with the nostalgia; the important thing to remember is that in addition to its impressive, high-gloss appearance, and savory taste, this Chinese barbecue pork is quite easy to make at home, even if you don’t have a fancy ceramic grill.
If you happen to be using your standard, backyard kettle-shaped grill, push all your coals to one side, and place your meat on the other. To add an extra layer of protection, you can also put it in a roasting pan, and place that on the grill. Or, forget the great outdoors, and simply roast it in the oven. The only catch is, you’ll need to place it under the broiler at the end, to simulate the caramelization we get on the barbecue.
As long as you roast it between 275 F. and 300 F., and do so until you reach an internal temperature of between 185-190 F., the cooking method really does not matter, and you should have something that rivals the finest take-out in town. So, I really do hope you give this Chinese-style barbecue pork a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for six portions:
3 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 4 sections lengthwise
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine (can sub sake, or dry sherry)
1/3 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon pink curing salt, optional
1 or 2 teaspoons red food coloring, optional
Kosher salt to season pork before grilling