With the lockdown and the restrictions on travel, I totally missed the melt in your mouth char siew from KL, Malaysia. Looking at the situation, it will probably be another couple of months before we can start travelling safely without restrictions. While at home, I figured out I should try making char siew at home at least once and surprisingly the results were quite satisfactory.
The ingredients you need include:
– 1kg of pork loin cut into long strips. Choose a cut that has some fats
– 2 teaspoons of mushroom seasoning
– 200 ml of sweet red wine ( optional )
– 2 tablespoons of cornflour
– 2 tablespoons of honey
– 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
– 5 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
– 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
– 1 jar of char siew sauce
For char siew sauce, I highly recommend the brand above because it gave the char siew the most beautiful color and flavours. I have tried making the char siew twice and the other time was with another brand of sauce which was not as good as this brand.
The first step is to marinate the pork strips after cleaning them.
Make sure that the pork is well coated with the marinade and is partially soaked in the marinade itself.
Leave the pork to marinate in the freezer for at least 2 days. I have left the pork to marinate for 1 week and it was even more flavourful.
Once the pork is thawed, cook the pork together with the marinade in a pot over low heat. You should cook for at least 10 mins for the pork to be partially cooked. We do not cook this over high heat to prevent burning the sauce
After 10 mins, transfer the pork to the oven. You can see some corner are slightly burnt from the pot due to the sticky sauce but it is ok. The pork itself is still not cooked fully as we do not want it to be too tough.
Bake the char siew strips in the oven at 250 degree celsius temperature for up to 30 mins or until the char siew is cooked. You will have to monitor the cooking of the meat. I am using a small toaster so the temperature is not extremely high. If you are using a bigger oven, the heat will be balanced and equal and I would suggest that you go up as high as 280 degrees.
During the process of the baking, you can baste the pork with the remaining gravy every 10 mins and do a flip of the pork to ensure both sides are baked nicely. When you see the surface of the pork turning a nice orange red and bits of the pork with nice burnt bits, it is ready.
You can wait for the char siew to cool down before you slice them into thin slices to enjoy. It is best eaten with the remaining sauce which you can heat up or with a drizzle of dark soy sauce over piping hot rice or simply as a side dish. The char siew is best eaten hot as the fats will melt in your mouth.
Personally, I felt the char siew was very tasty and I am surprised how easy it was to make them. The only biggest difference will be missing that charred flavours from a traditional charcoal roast oven which is obvious from the commercial stores outside. The fats were also not as melt in the mouth as I liked as my little oven did not provide enough heat. I guess if you have a barbeque grill, you can also try to barbeque it over charcoal to get a smokey flavour. Do try this easy recipe and make your own char siew at home.