Monday, December 12, 2011

Homemade char siu pork

I finally got around to checking out the Minneapolis-based counterpart to my local Asian market, Shuang Her, over the weekend.

It was a little disappointing to know how much better the Minneapolis store is in terms of meat selections -- there is a real butcher-type counter, rather than just a large fridge case of packaged meat.

So, I grabbed three pounds of skinless pork butt for about $9 and decided to try my hand at homemade char siu pork.

Char siu is one of those things that usually seems easier to buy, given how hard it seems to make at home.

I adapted this recipe and technique that I found online, and I'm thrilled with the result. My two favorite ways to enjoy char siu is wrapped in fluffy white dimsum buns or mixed into a sticky rice recipe from my friend Wendy (though, this was so tasty, I found myself just munching on it).

3 lbs of skinless pork butt and cut into pieces a little smaller than my fist

4 tablespoons light corn syrup (use maltose if you have it/can find it)
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (shaoxing) -- note, the original recipe calls for "Chinese Rose Wine" so again, if you have it on hand or can find it, go with it.
3 dashes white pepper powder
1 tsp red coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add all ingredients, except the pork, to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Marinate the pork butt pieces with 2/3 of the char siu sauce  overnight. Reserve the rest of the marinade for brushing during cooking.
At 400 degrees, roast the meat uncovered for 20 mins, flip and roast another 15 mins.
Then, on a flat baking pan covered in foil, brush the meat with half the remaining sauce, and broil for 5 minutes until it starts to smoke, and you get a few areas starting to turn black and crisp. Flip the meat, drain the sheet pan if there is too much liquid, and broil the other side.
* if you don't live in Minnesota in December, you could also grill the meat for the final steps over a high heat grill.

The pork after first round of roasting

The pork after broiling. I used our *awesome* new toaster oven for the roasting and the broiling.

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