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Homemade Chinese BBQ ‘Char Siu’ Pork

Sweet sticky Chinese barbecue pork is even better when it’s homemade. Pork neck, marinated in hoisin sauce, honey and Chinese five spice is great added to soup or fried rice. Where is that drool emoji when you need one? The secret ingredient for that glossy red finish is beetroot powder, which you can find in the health food section.


Homemade Chinese BBQ ‘Char Siu’ Pork

10 minutes + overnight marinating
40 minutes + 10 minutes resting

1.5 kg (3.3 lb) piece pork neck (also called boston butt or pork shoulder)

¼ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup Chinese Shaoxing wine*

¼ cup honey

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp Chinese 5-spice powder

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tbsp beetroot powder*

  • Step 1

    Slice the pork neck lengthways to form 3 long pieces.

  • Step 2

    Place all ingredients except the pork into a large bowl and mix until well combined.

  • Step 3

    Place the pork and the marinade in a ziplock bag. Seal and shake well until the pork is evenly coated. Set aside to marinate in the fridge overnight.

  • Step 4

    Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

  • Step 5

    Line a roasting tray with foil. Place a rack on top. Remove the pork pieces from the marinade and place onto the rack. Pour water into the bottom of the roasting tin (ensure the water level is below the pork). The water and the foil will help to stop the sweet marinade from burning on your roasting tray. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

  • Step 6

    In the meantime, pour the marinade out of the ziplock bag and into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and divide the mixture between 2 bowls. One half will be for basting and the other can be used as a serving sauce.

  • Step 7

    Remove the pork from the oven. Baste both sides of the pork with the thickened marinade. Place back into the oven to cook for another 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, add another layer of basting sauce and rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

  • Notes

    – Serving suggestion: steamed rice, cucumber and thickened marinade sauce.

    – Whole pieces of the char siu pork can be wrapped in baking paper and cling film and frozen for up to 2 months.

    – Chinese Shaoxing wine is available in the Asian aisle of many supermarkets or from an Asian grocer. Substitute with dry sherry or chicken stock if alcohol is not suitable.

    – Beetroot powder is a natural alternative to the red food colouring typically used to make this dish. You can find it in health food stores or in the health food section of the supermarket.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 8 reviews)
Very good0%
August 18, 2023

Had to improve; but the results...

Living in a small town in rural Ohio limits the availability for things like Chinese 5-spice, Chinese Shaoxing wine, and beetroot powder. So, I had to improvise. First, I went with the chicken stock substitute you suggested. Second, had all of the ingredients that comprise Chinese 5-spice (thanks to your Chili oil recipe my family loves), so I popped them in my spice grinder and made my own. But the beetroot powder!?! No way I was using food coloring; but I figured, if beetroot powder provides that beautiful red color, surely beet juice would do the same. 1/4 of beet juice later and, ohmyGod, let me tell you… chef’s kiss! Remarkable! The best!!! Thank you!!!

June 29, 2023

I love this recipe ❤️

I love this recipe! Thank you!!

March 10, 2023


She summarizes a delicious dish into steps that are easy to follow. Who doesn’t like pork with a wonderful glaze. I’m definitely going to try this recipe.

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