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Chinese Barbecue Char Siu Marinade

The Essential Chinese Marinade Recipe!

Chinese bbq pork or Cantonese pork is also known as Char Siu, Char Sui, Char Siew, Cha Siu, Cha Sui, Cha Siew, Shao Siu, Shao Sui, Shao Siew, Tsja Siu, Tsja Sui, Tsja Siew, and a few more name variations - all meaning the same thing.

Anybody with a little bit decent barbecue can easily make this extraordinary and exclusive Chinese barbecue meat at home!

Cha Siew marinade has a striking red colour.

After marinating for three hours in Char Siew marinade, pork hocks will look like this:

Photo of Chinese Pork Shanks on the barbecue grate.

For more information on these tasty Chinese Cha Sui Pork Hocks click HERE.

"Cha Siu" Cantonese Barbecue Pork

The bright red Chinese or Cantonese pork can be made of any pork meat as long as it is not too lean.

At Chinese restaurants it is commonly made of pork shoulder (or Boston Butt) cut to strips.

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Cha Siu Marinade Ingredients

A Cantonese or Chinese marinade Cha Siu recipe is typically based on a mix of most of the following ingredients:

- Honey or sugar;
- Chinese five-spice powder;
- Soy sauce;
- Red bean paste
    (or red food colouring);
- Rice wine or sherry;
- Cooking oil; and
- Salt.

For our barbecue experiments we decided to go the easy way (so far), so we bought ready packages of Chinese Char Sui spices in an Oriental supermarket.

Photo of package of Cha Siu powder mix, ready for use. Photo of package of Cha Siew powder mix, ready for use.

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Follow the instructions on the package.

Typically, the red powder in the Cantonese marinade package is mixed with half a cup of water.

The Cha Sui powder looks like this.

When mixed with water, the Cha Sui marinade will take this colour, roughly.

This Cha Siu marinade is strong stuff. One package should be plenty to marinate about 4 to 6 pounds of Cantonese barbecue pork. And after marinating the meat, the remainder should be plenty to paint the kitchen door...

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The PitBoss Suggests:

Here's a few recipes that are all part of the same Oriental Barbecue family...

China Red Ribs

Photo of China Red Ribs. We first marinated these baby back ribs overnight in a Chinese / Cantonese Cha Siu marinade After 3 hours of smoking we started to apply the Cha Siu Glazing until they looked bright red and shining!

Chinese Cha Siew Pork Hocks

Chinese Cha Siew Pork Hocks We first marinated these hocks for a few hours in a Chinese Char Siew Marinade, and during smoking we applied several thick layers of our Soy Honey Glazing until these Chinese barbecue pork hocks looked bright red and shining!

Char Siu Glazing

Photo of Cha Siew Glazing Cha Siu is also named Shao Sui, Cha Siew, Tsja Siu, Char Siew, Tsja Siew, and a few more spelling variations. After a few applications of this Cantonese mop sauce your barbecue pork will look deep red and shining.

Soy Honey Glaze
This Soy Honey Glazing Recipe is intended for Cantonese barbecue. It is especially suitable to complement the effect and taste of Cantonese Cha Siu marinade.

Soy Honey Glaze applied to Chinese Barbecue Char Siew Pork Hocks.

At Hot Smoke BBQ we love Chile Peppers!

Keep Smokin' !