Hoisin-Glazed Barbecue Pork (char siu)

By Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Let me start with this: I love hoisin sauce.

I could literally eat it with a spoon. That may sound gross to you, but I crave it. It’s one of my favourite ingredients in Asian cooking and I love it as a dipping sauce too. Yum!

Over the years, I’ve tried many different brands, but this one is my favourite: Lee Kum Kee. Most of their products are good and can be found in the Asian food aisle at your local grocery store.


Have you ever been for truly authentic Cantonese food? Not the Americanized sugary crap, but the real deal? I only have once or twice in my lifetime, and I specifically remember the barbecued pork being mouth-watering. Bursting with flavour and tender as can be, I just had to try and duplicate it after seeing this experiment on Daily Waffle. By the way, the Cantonese name for this dish is apparently char siu (just in case you’re ordering it or looking up recipes).

We are big fans of pork tenderloin in this house, so My Other Half was keen to try this too.


Hoisin-Glazed Barbecue Pork (char siu)


1 pork tenderloin
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsps hoisin sauce
2 tbsps ketchup
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp dark rum


Trim the pork of its silver skin and any extra fat. In a large Ziploc bag, mix together the sugar, hoisin, ketchup, five-spice, salt, sesame oil and rum. Add the pork and give it a good massage to work in the flavors. Let marinate at least overnight (I let it marinate more than 24 hours). When ready, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and put a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Set the pork on the cooling rack and set the marinade aside. Bake the pork for 45 minutes and then reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Baste the pork with some of the remaining marinade and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and let cool. Slice the pork and serve serve.

Adapted from the Daily Waffle

I have no complaints other than my pork didn’t look as good as the pictures – the insides were darker, but I’m assuming that’s from marinating it so long. I’m not sure how the Cantonese get theirs to be so red, but it’s much prettier. I also could work on my presentation and photography ( both never-ending battles). A sprinkle of sesame seeds and some green onion go a long way!

Have you had char siu? What did you think?

  • bujimrperfect
    April 10, 2013

    Sounds really good, I will have to try making it

    • Julia Kent
      April 12, 2013

      Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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