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Char Siu Redemption

Discussion in 'Pork' started by chef willie, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My first run of Char Siu was a disappointment to me 2 years ago so took another run at it using real ingredients, not a pre-mixed concoction. Took 2 pounds of pork butt, trimmed most of the exterior fat off and butterflied the big pieces to get more surface area for the marinade, marinated overnight in a zip-lock then let the butt air dry on a rack to set the marinade some while preparing the smoker. Used a small amount of apple wood and ran the smoker at 250 for about 2 hours to hit 150 IT, then foiled the pieces tight and stuck them in the microwave to rest for an hour. Sliced thin on the bias and served with some Chinese Hot Mustard. I did use some red food coloring but it didn't show with using the smoker. The taste was great, pork very tender and juicy even at room temperature nibbling with beers. I believe next time I will use the grill to get more of a roasted, slightly charred effect.

    love the disposable foil grate liners...clean-ups a snap

    after the foiled rest

    melt in the mouth thicker slices

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Willie, morning.... I've made it a couple times and haven't found a recipe that is even close to the stuff you get in a restaurant....    Are you closing in on the flavor ???    

  3. kathrynn

    kathrynn Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Ooooo....yummers!  That looks nice!

  4. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Looks FANTASTIC!!!
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Maybe that's a good thing? Truthfully, I believe most restaurants now use purchased CS from a vendor or, if making themselves will use the short cut of a packaged mix, far from the original method. The ingredients I used, given to me by a SMF member years ago, is spot on with ingredients listed in many recipes on Chinese food websites. I could not find Chinese Rose wine so left it out. Some use pork loin, I chose butt (which I had on hand). I'm thinking a tenderloin could also be used, which might be closer to a restaurant type slice. Here's my marinade, I doubled everything. My Asian store owner never heard of the Rose wine?? but he's Thai, I believe.

    1 lb pork butt, cut into four pieces (cutting it up rather than leaving it whole gives more surface area for the marinade)

    3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

    Char Siu Sauce

    1 1/2 Tbs Maltose, (This can be found in a Chinese store)

    1 1/2 Tbs honey

    1 1/2 Tbs Hoisin Sauce

    1 1/2 Tbs Soy sauce, light *

    1 Tbs Chinese Rose Wine (This too can be bought in a Chinese store)

    3 dashes of white pepper

    3 drops of red food coloring

    1/2 tsp Chinese five spice

    1/2 tsp Sesame oil

    * Dark soy sauce will over power the Rose Wine.

    Add all ingredients of the Char Siu sauce, except the Sesame oil, in a sauce pan and heat, stirring until all ingredients are blended, do not boil, I use my Thermapen and take it to 180°.

    Remove from heat and let cool, stir in the Sesame oil at this time.

    When cool marinate pork chunks with the garlic over night in the fridge.
  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Bill,

    Your Char Siu looks great! I find the more natural color of yours to be way better looking than the chemical red at the restaurants. Glad you are happier with your results than what you made 2 years ago..

    Where did you get those disposable foil grate liners? Whatever you are using should also work in my ST, and I'd love to buy some and try them out!

    Great pictures and process! Thanks for sharing!
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Willie....   I'll put that in the bucket....  I just pulled a 15# belly out of the freezer...   I think I will try that recipe on the ends I trim from the belly to square it up....  Char Sui belly should be good enough for me...  

    cold beer, hot mustard, toasted seeds and Willies Char Sui........  [​IMG]

  8. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    That's some good looking Char Siu, Willie. The color of the sliced meat looks perfect.

    Like you, I use pork butt which I think is perfect for the dish. Belly is also good, but I avoid loin or tenderloin as they're too lean.

    Your ingredient list is pretty similar to mine, but I also add some minced or grated onion and ginger. Chinese Rose wine is considered China's brandy, which is what I use for a substitute. Some also use Shaoxing wine, sherry, or even bourbon for a substitute. Also, when Maltose isn't readily available I just substitute the amount called for with additional good quality natural honey.

    For those concerned about the red food dye, I've found that some fermented red bean curd is a good substitute. It adds another nice layer of flavor and brightens things up a bit, though it won't look as cosmic as when done with the dye.

    I smoke the Char Siu to around 120 IT then go to the grill or oven to set the glaze and finish at 140-145 IT
  9. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thx Clarissa.....I used an envelope of NOH my first time around and will use it NO more (LMAO). Home Depot carries the grate liners, over by the ques and wood chunks. 12 bucks for 12, easily cut down and can be flipped if frugal <grin>
    Yeah baby...now you're talkin'. Some recipes I read in my research used belly so give us an update when you do it.
  10. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thx for the kind words and the tips. I will refer to those next time around. Fruit cake time is approaching so brandy will be readily at hand. I was just at Costco and saw their Shanghai Pork (char siu) at 5.99 a pound and it sure looked like a tenderloin in the package. I did use loin last time and it was not what I was looking for in the final product....butt is much better IMO. Belly, I think, would be to fatty. I've got enough Maltose for about 6 more batches...lol....that is some sticky stuff.
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Looks great Willie. I have a couple char Sui recipes that I have been wanting to try but haven't yet.

    Clarissa you can find the foil trays like that at the dollar store also. I bought 4 packs of there last year.
  12. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you for the info, guys!!
  13. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good to me, and thanks for the sauce recipe!
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good, I use my Char Siu Marinade on Ribs all the time come out great...JJ