Char siu (Cantonese barbecue pork)

Cantonese classic: Barbecue pork.
Cantonese classic: Barbecue pork. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Red fermented beancurd is the secret ingredient for this Cantonese barbecue pork, which should be basted while it is roasting. Long marination yields the best flavour. Recipe adapted from the kitchen of One Harbour Road, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hong Kong.


500g pork shoulder

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


1 tbsp light soy

1 tsp dark soy

½ tsp pepper

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 cubes red fermented beancurd, mashed

½ tsp five-spice powder

1 tbsp honey or maltose

1 tbsp Chinese rose dew wine or shao hsing wine


Cut pork lengthwise into strips, five centimetres wide and 2½ centimetres thick. Heat marinade ingredients over low flame and stir until blended. Leave to cool. Stir in chopped garlic and massage into the pork. Cover with cling wrap and leave to marinate for at least five hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Before roasting, bring pork back to room temperature. Heat oven to 220C. Drain off excess marinade and put pork pieces on a rack in the middle of the oven. Place a roasting pan with a cup of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven. Roast the meat, basting with the marinade every now and then, for 20 minutes. Reduce to 180C and cook for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 74C.

Leave to cool briefly, slice into bite-sized pieces and serve with steamed rice or noodles.