char siew sauce (chinese bbq pork sauce)

the char siew is red

My third attempt at char siew (or chinese bbq pork) in cold country. I usually make char siew with pork tenderloin but figured this time round I needed the extra fat for those nice fatty bits. I bought a pork shoulder (should have gotten the butt instead) and spent a good 20 minutes cutting off the skin and fat. I was a little anxious the pork wouldn’t turn out well but it did. The normal packet seasoning I buy (which is basically the coloring, sugar and onion powder) isn’t as rich and sweet as I want it to be. So I decided to add more sauce. I made a sauce using a recipe I found online.

Char Siu (Char Siew) Sauce

(taken from here)


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maltose
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rose wine (玫瑰露酒)
  • 3 dashes white pepper powder
  • 3 drops red coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Add all ingredients in the char siu sauce in a sauce pan, heat it up and stir-well until all blended and become slightly thickened and sticky. Transfer out and let cool.


I combined the sauce above with my packet mix and marinated the pork overnight with some chopped garlic. You can also marinate the pork (about 1lb) with just the sauce above.

I cooked the pork 20 minutes at 350 degrees F and then turned it over, glazed it with some extra marinade (or you can use honey) and cooked it another 20 minutes at the same temperature.

Heat the extra marinade and use it as a sauce.

I had my char siew with noodles and peas and used the marinade sauce to flavor the noodles. Yum! No burnt yummy bits but I am happy with the result.

char siew with noodles and peas


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