Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cici’s Cantonese Char Siu



This is quick and simple recipe to easily make Char Siu at home. It is a popular way to flavor and prepare barbecued pork in Cantonese cuisine. See YouTube link:

1 pound of pork butt4, sliced into thick “steaks” and perforated3
4 tablespoons of honey water made from equal portions of honey and water


Marinade

2 Pieces of Chinese fermented red bean curd2
1 Tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
2 Tablespoons of honey
4 Tablespoons of sugar
A pinch of five-spice powder1
A pinch of white pepper
1 Clove of minced garlic

In a bowl, add 2 pieces of Chinese fermented red bean curd, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons of honey, 4 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of five-spice powder, a pinch of white pepper, 1 clove of minced garlic. Mix well.

In a big zip lock bag, add 1 pound of pork butt and the sauce. Marinate 12 hours turning once after 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour the marinade sauce into a bowl. Place the pork on a wire rack over a drip pan and bake for 25 minutes. Then remove from oven, brush the remaining sauce over both sides. Place it back into the oven and bake for another 25 minutes. Take the pork slices out and brush honey water on it and bake for another 10 minutes.

Slice the char siu, on the bias, into bite size pieces.

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Notes:
1.      These are commonly a mixture of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds, but five-spice powder can also include anise seeds, ginger root, nutmeg, turmeric, Amomum villous pods, cardamom pods, licorice, orange peel, or galangal.

2.      Red bean curd is used in Chinese cooking as a condiment. It is a type of preserved bean curd (also called fermented bean curd), that consists of cubes of soybean curd that have been preserved in rice wine, fermented red rice, and other seasonings. In addition to the red, there are several varieties of preserved bean curd, from white (which is basically plain fermented bean curd) to stinky, which is fermented over six months, to Chiang bean curd that is soaked in miso. Sometimes called "Chinese cheese," fermented bean curd has a similar mouth feel to certain dairy products. The fermentation breaks down the proteins giving the bean curd a texture like a smooth paste. Because the soybean curd is very mild on its own, it takes on the flavors that are used during the fermentation—or brining—process. The result is mellow and sweet but will also often have a strong smell and taste of alcohol.

3.      Needle Meat tenderizer or tines of a fork are used to help the marinade penetrate the meat.

Pork belly - produces juicy and fatter char siu. Pork butt is shoulder and is also referred to as Boston Butt.

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