- Time: 90 minutes (best when prepped overnight)
- Fanciness level: 4/5 (Slightly inflated because it has a non-English name.)
I made an Americanized version of char siu for a potluck today. People liked it. I can’t quite convey how meaningful that is to me without going into a LOT of history of anxiety and unspoken social expectations and cooking and potlucks and also an anecdote about lite mayonnaise, but please understand that this is a major accomplishment for me.
It’s actually really easy to make—almost no prep time, just a lot of waiting, and pork butt is pretty cheap so $7 worth of meat gets you leftovers for a week. So here’s my recipe. (Many thanks to google for the char siu recipes it’s based off of.)
If you really wanted to do this right, you’d probably be roasting on a spit or something. This is pretty good, too, and a lot simpler.
- Buy pork butt (sometimes also labeled “shoulder), cut into 4 strips
- put in plastic bag with sauce for 24 hours (more might be better, but I’m not that patient)
- Next day, put pork in covered pan (I use a glass casserole dish with aluminum foil on top) and re-cover with sauce
- Bake at 400 deg for 40-50 minutes, or until temp is close to 145 deg in the middle of the biggest piece.
- Layer aluminum foil on a baking sheet, then put a rack on top. Transfer the pork to the rack, again covering with sauce
- Broil at 400 deg for 12 minutes
- Flip the pork over onto the other side, cover with sauce, broil again at 400 for 12 minutes
- slice & eat
- You can buy char siu sauce in a jar from some Asian groceries. It will be labeled “Hong Kong Barbecue Sauce.” Please, at least once, get the char siu sauce.
- Other Asian BBQ sauces, Korean, Chinese, are also good.
- Here and here are recipes for making char siu sauce. I’ve done variations with these, without bothering to get the maltose or special soy sauce. It worked out pretty well anyway, although was runnier than I’d like, even after much simmering. As long as you have the wine, hosin sauce, and honey, you’re probably pretty close.
- American BBQ sauce is also good. (That’s what I made today.)
- The thing is, pork butt is yummy. Even if you don’t use any sauce, it’s yummy. So it’s hard to go wrong. That’s the good thing about this. If you don’t have time to marinate, it won’t be quite as flavorful, but it will still be yummy. You could probably do something with apples and glazing, too. I might try that sometime.