Char Siu Pork Recipe (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Char SIu (Chinese BBQ Pork)
Char SIu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Chinese BBQ Pork Recipe

This authentic Char Siu pork recipe is a very popular Chinese dish in Asia. It’s a Chinese style BBQ pork that’s very versatile and can be found in various Cantonese dishes! Definitely one of the best dishes I recommend you try making at home!

What ingredients you need to make this Char Siu pork recipe:

Chinese BBQ pork is such an easy dish to make and tastes absolutely delicious! To make it you’ll need either pork shoulder or pork belly. If you prefer leaner meat, go for pork shoulder – I find the pork belly slightly too fatty. 

How to marinate Char Siu pork: you’ll need some salt, star anise, sugar, garlic, five spice powder and ginger powder. Two optional ingredients you can use are red food colouring and shaoxing wine. 

The red food colouring only adds colour – it won’t affect how the pork tastes. Many Chinese restaurants and takeaways like to add red food colouring because it makes the pork look even more appetising, but it is not essential. 

The shaoxing wine is a popular condiment in Asian cooking – it’s used to remove the smell of raw meat or raw fish. It’s definitely not a necessity but if you happen to already have it at home, then using a tablespoon of that can be useful. 

Why I like this dish:

I think eating Chinese food is one of my favourites!. I grew up with homemade Chinese meals, but one of my favourites has always been Char Siu. It’s just such a simple dish but tastes so good.

I never realised the popularity of Char Siu until I moved to Asia for a few years. Every food court I visited and almost every Asian restaurant I dined in served their own versions of Char Siu. 

Even as a student, I found this dish to be one of the easiest and tastiest Cantonese recipes to make. You can marinate the meat in bulk and then freeze them so you’ll have it ready whenever you fancy it.

BTW. If you’re a student like me but want to visit Hong Kong, I highly recommend you check out this study abroad blog – It’s a fantastic blog that will guide you through studying abroad in Hong Kong. My friend Bea also covers other countries in Asia so it’s well worth a look!

Why you should try this dish:

If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, their Char Siu Rice is a must-try! Different countries have their own variations of the dish, but it generally follows the Cantonese method of marinating. Char Siu served with white rice is a popular dish sold in Hong Kong and Singapore – they often include a side of green vegetables. 

This authentic Char Siu pork recipe is definitely a must-try! Chinese takeaways in Europe just don’t make the Char Siu marinade as authentic as in Asia because they like to westernise their dishes. 

Chinese Char Siu Pork Recipe (Chinese BBQ Pork

What to serve with Char Siu pork:

Chinese Char Siu pork is one of the most versatile dishes to make – it can be served with loads of different things, such as:

  • Char Siu fan 叉烧饭 – Char Siu pork served with plain white rice 

  • Yeung chow fried rice 扬州炒饭 – Fried rice dish using a variety of meats, such as pork, chicken and prawns

  • Char Siu so 叉燒酥 – Chinese pork puff pastry pockets, filled with Char Siu, onions and sesame seeds

  • Char Siu chow mein – Char Siu pork served with fried egg noodles and usually some vegetables

  • Char Siu with wonton noodles – wonton noodles are thinner versions of egg noodles

  • Chinese BBQ Ribs – This technically uses the same ingredients as Char Siu but instead of using pork shoulder, it uses spare ribs.

Other vegetables you can serve with Char Siu includes: 

Chinese Char Siu Pork Recipe (Chinese BBQ Pork

Is Char Siu pork healthy?

Char Siu pork is not the healthiest meat out there. Depending on what pork piece you use, it can be quite unhealthy when eaten too frequently. It’s still a very good dish to make once in a while and totally worth it!

Is Char Siu pork gluten-free?

Yes, this Char Siu pork recipe is gluten free. However, other restaurants and takeaways use slightly different recipes – they may add extra ingredients that I don’t add, such as soy sauce, which is not gluten free. 

Can you freeze Char Siu pork?

The best part about Char Siu pork is that it can be frozen! I like making things in bulk. The recipe listed here shows 600g worth of Char Siu. That is a lot and is never for just one sitting. I marinate it all ready and then freeze them in separate plastic bags/cling film. It’s minimal effort to marinate the pork and it will then last you for many meals in the future! Freezing the Chinese BBQ pork will also give it more time to marinate!

how to cook Char Siu pork in the oven: Bake the Char Siu for 15-25 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. If you froze the Char Siu, simply take out however many pork pieces you need and defrost them for a few hours before cooking them. 

Hints and Tips:

  • The longer you marinate the pork, the tastier the Char Siu will taste.

  • After you bake the Char Siu, leave it to stand for 5-10 minutes. It can then cook in its residual heat.

Similar Recipes Include:

Char Siu Pork Recipe (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Recipe by YvonneCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Marinating Time



It’s a Chinese style BBQ pork that’s very versatile and can be found in various Cantonese dishes!


  • 600g pork (use either lean or fatty, depending on your preferences)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp star anise pieces

  • 0.5-1 tsp sugar

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic

  • 0.5-1 tsp 5 spice powder

  • ½ tsp ginger powder

  • (optional) add a few drops of red food colouring

  • (optional) 1 tbsp shaoxing wine


  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and salt into a fine paste.
  • Add the sugar, 5 spice powder and ginger powder to the paste and mix this thoroughly.
  • Add star anise and mix into paste.
  • Evenly rub the paste into the pork pieces.
  • (optional) Add a few drops of red food colouring and rub this evenly into the pork.
  • Bake this for 25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.
  • Let the meat stand for 10 mins.
  • Slice the char siu ready to serve. Enjoy 🙂

Recipe Video

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