Char Siu – The Chinese BBQ Pork

So look… before you start judging me for not creating my own char siu marinade from scratch, try my shortcut recipe/method… seriously, you will be pleasantly surprised!  In other words… don’t knock it ’til you try it!

Char siu pork is a classic Chinese dish and one of my all-time favorite.  Combine it with some steamed rice and freshly sliced cucumbers with some chili peppers and soy sauce… mmmm… that’s a good meal right there.  The Sam Woo on Garvey and Atlantic in Monterey Park makes made the best barbeque pork, in my opinion.

My mom taught me this method and I, of course, changed a few things… I have been making a habit of measuring for the sake of this blog so let’s hope it’s accurate ;)

I prepared double the amount I have here and froze half of it for a quick weekday meal so don’t pay attention to the multiple packets of mix in the photo.


  • 2 pounds of pork shoulder butt roast
  • 1 packet of char siu seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning sauce or regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 can of coconut-flavored soda
  • 2 cups of beef stock

Preparation Instructions:

Prep the pork by rinsing in a colander and letting it drain completely.  Pat dry with a paper towel and trim out any excess fat.  Cut into big pieces (about 4″x3″) and set into mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the char siu seasoning mix with half a cup of water and the Maggi/soy sauce.  Mix well making sure it’s completely dissolved and pour into the pork bowl.  Massage the pieces well, coating every part of those chunks.  Cover the bowl or place into a large zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight.  If you don’t have time to marinade overnight, let it sit for at least an hour.  The more time it sits in that delicious red goodness, obviously, the better!

When you’re ready to cook, take it out of the fridge and let it sit until it reaches room temperature.  Heat up the oil in a deep pan and slowly add the chunks (not crowding the pan).  Sear all sides but be careful not to burn them.  When all the pieces have been seared, place them all back in the pan (if you’ve fried in batches) and add the coconut soda and beef stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover lid and let simmer for about an hour and a half… two if you can afford to.  Turn once in a while to make sure all pieces are cooked evenly and coated with the red yummy caramel.  About an hour in, add the remaining cup of water and stir.  On the last 20 minutes, keep it on low heat.  Once it’s done, let it sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.  Serve with steamed rice!

Oh goodness… I can’t wait for you to try it!!