Char Siew (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Just got back from two short trips back to Singapore, the Singaporean food craving has never been stronger. Technically this dish has Cantonese origins, it is widely found in Singaporean hawkers, food courts and whatnots.

At 11pm, we decided that we wanted Char Siew for supper instead of saving it for the next day’s lunch.

I used to do this a lot in Singapore, baking the charsiew in the rice cooker or in the oven but that usually resulted in pretty tough char siew as it lost most of the moisture in the meat during the process to the sauce.

Did it stove top this time round, yielded a much juicier char siew than before.

Our late night Char Siew Rice for supper.

The charsiew pairs well with noodles as well. Made Wonton Mee the next day. Yummers. Shall make more of this after my trip to Taiwan so that we can just reheat in the microwave whenever we are hungry.

Wanton Noodles, feat dumpling wrappers from Singapore, overnight charsiew and some homegrown greens.

Recipe adapted from rasamalaysia.


  • 400g skinless pork belly or for leaner cuts, pork shoulder can be used as well. Cut them into long strips for the better marinading
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 piece Chinese fermented red bean curd
  • 1 teaspoon tau cheo, aka salted fermented yellow beans (gives more umami to the dish but can be replaced with some salt as well)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Wine or Brandy/Scotch/Whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark and thick soy sauce
  • 0.5 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon coriander poweder
  • dash of powdered white/black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon sugar

I dont like runny sauce on my rice, so for the char siew rice sauce, I used the following to thicken them a little before serving.

  • 2 tablespoon room temperature water
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch or potato starch to thicken the sauce


  1. Get a big bowl, mix all the Char Siew Sauce ingredients, add the garlic and pork belly and marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
  2. When ready to eat, place Char Siew into non-stick frying pan with a lid. Cook the Char Siew on a low medium heat (to ensure the middle cooks through) for about 5 minutes on each side, putting the cover back on after each flip.
  3. To char the sides for better flavour, pour the juice from the meat in the pan or pot back into the sauce (essentially you should have a completely dry pan or pot for it to char nicely).
  4. Turn the flame on high heat and char all sides of the charsiew. Once ready, set aside.
  5. To prepare the sweet sauce, pour the rest of the marinade back into the pan. Once it has reached a boil, lower the fire to the lowest setting.
  6. Mix the water+starch completely and pour them into the sauce. Immediate stir the sauce to make sure not only one section of your sauce thickens into a clump. Continue to stir until the sauce has a reached a semi-watery consistency.
  7. Assemble your rice, veg and char siew and pour some sauce on the charsiew and rice for optimal flavour.

Enjoy your meal!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s