I saw Bearcarver's step-by-step on Char Siu Country Style Ribs and also read through Gary's thread (thanks to both) that was linked there and decided my second MES 30 smoke would be a Char Siu variation!
A little background:
I make pork char siu several times a year and have always used a Boston-butt trimmed and cut into chunks a few of inches long. The chunks are marinated (details below) overnight and roasted on my trusty Weber kettle grill over charcoal. Below is a picture of my July 4th char siu grilling that accompanied the inaugural use of my MES 30 smoking Baby Back ribs (pics of that in the "Roll Call" thread). After the little chunks are good and grilled I rub them with a little honey and then slice them thin. Pretty easy and always a crowd pleaser, so I decided to try this smoked variation as my second smoking attempt since I had all the stuff I needed!
NOW THE SMOKING!
I wasn't quite sure exactly what type of pork I was going to use but went to Valley Farm Market (for those familiar with the Lehigh Valley...) and found some nice looking pre-sliced spare-ribs - about 5 pounds total. These are sliced in what I call "Chinese style" as you will typically find these when having Dim sum where they are steamed in served with black bean sauce.
Now I'm very impressed by the made from scratch Char siu recipes in the other threads, but I didn't do that! I've always used this packaged mix you can get at most any Asian market and then jazz it up with a bit more soy sauce and five spice. The ingredients are basically the same as the from scratch recipes and I will definitely try a from scratch recipe in the future.
A cautionary note: Treat this Char siu mix like it is toxic waste as I think it is just about as impossible to clean up. This stuff will stain anything it gets on - counters, tile floors, clothes, skin, pets, you name it.
My wife assisted with trimming the ribs of some of the fat and I lost about a pound to her for steaming at a later time - I guess that was her payment for assisting... The night before smoking marinated result below:
I used hickory chips for the smoking and a temp of 225F with cider vinegar in the water pan.
Ribs smoked for 2 hours, then wrapped them in foil and back in the smoker for another 2 hours.
Then end part is where I varied most from the other thread preps. I basted the ribs in some Char Siu mix jazzed up with Sriracha red pepper and honey and then put them back in the smoker for another 30 minutes.
In the smoker:
They were quite tasty and had a good texture! The hickory put a nice addition on the Char Siu flavor. I should have gone with more red pepper on the initial marinade or final basting - I think this would have even better with more spice heat in there!
Thanks for looking!