I have been craving for the warm, comfort of good Chinese take-out … the sinfully delicious flavor of oven roasted char siu – or Chinese BBQ Pork. This dish is served at many Chinese restaurants and dim sum places. It’s delicious.
Char Siu has the flavor of home and is absolutely comforting for winter. Warm, juicy, and tender pork that’s bursting with flavor and enjoyed over a warm plate of white rice. It just reminds me of home, and I’ve been missing my sweet mama so much!
With tax season coming up (and it’s my slow season in my photography business), our family has been pinching pennies everywhere we can. So I decided to make this delicious meal in the comfort of my kitchen using the ingredients that I had in my pantry and my freezer.
Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) can be made with any type of pork, but traditionally it’s made with pork shoulder or pork butt and grilled outside. I don’t grill (that’s my husband’s job in the summer), so I roasted my version of Char Siu in the oven using pork tenderloin (which is a cut of pork that I always keep on hand.) A nice pork tenderloin is often enough to feed a small family. I’m only feeding 3 adults, so a 1.5 lb tenderloin was perfect.
Char Siu is also traditionally red in color, which you can achieve by using red food dye, but I don’t like adding non-essential ingredients into my food, especially when it doesn’t affect the taste. I omitted the red food dye in this recipe.
What I love most about this recipe is that you can start it in advance. You could start marinating 1-2 days before you cook it. You could also marinate in the morning, then roast it in the oven in the evening for dinner.
This would also be a good recipe for food prepping in the freezer. You could marinate the pork, put it in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag and then freeze it until you’re ready to cook it.
Making Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) is a two step process. It’s super simple though. 1) Gather the ingredients and creating the marinade for the pork, and 2) Roasting in the oven when you’re ready for dinner.
The marinade does involve a lot of different spices and seasonings, any well-stocked Asian kitchen will have many of these on hand. I didn’t have to go to the store to make this recipe. (* You could also purchase a seasoning package for Char Siu at your local Asian store.*)
Chinese BBQ Pork tastes wonderful over a bowl of rice. You could also use it to make sandwiches (such as Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches) or even as the protein in a Spring Roll. So many options, and oh so yummy!
Oven Roasted Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) Recipe
- 2 lb Pork Tenderloin
For the Marinade
- 1/4 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp White Sugar
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Gochujang (Korean Red Chili Paste), optional
- 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp Ginger Powder
- 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
- 2 tbsp Sake
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and mix them together in a bowl until they're nice and blended.
- In a ziplock bag or big plastic container, add the pork and coat with 3/4 of the marinade. (Reserve 1/4 for later.)
- Put in the fridge and let the pork marinate for at least 4 hours. (8 hours or overnight is best.) The longer it marinates, the better it will taste.* If you plan to freeze for later use, freeze the marinade and pork together now.
Oven Roasting the Pork
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Place a metal rack on top. Place meat on the rack. Add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pan (to avoid the fat drippings from burning/smoking and causing your fire alarm to go off).
- Brush the pork tenderloin with half of the reserve marinade. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Then flip it over to the back, brush with the remaining marinade and roast for another 20 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer. Remove from oven with the pork has an internal temperature of 145F.
- Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly and enjoy!