Auntie Ruby's Char Siew (Char Siu) Recipe - A PictorialSunday, May 19, 2013
I am writing up another post on my Mum's Char Siew recipe. I made it again today and followed her recipe closely. I have written a few posts on Char Siew making from your home kitchen.
It is good, no doubt. Not just good, I think it is great. And it is simple to make as well.
I started with 1 kg of pork belly in 3 strips. With skin off, it weighed 900g. I did not have time to marinate, not that it mattered.
Here is the simple recipe again:
1 teaspoon - salt
1 teaspoon - sesame oil
1 teaspoon - dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon - white pepper
2 tablespoon - honey
2 tablespoon - sugar
2 tablespoon - Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon - Chinese wine or liquor
1 tsp: 5-spice powder
1tsp soda bicarbonate (optional)
To cook add:
2 tablespoon - oil
1 soup bowl of water
- Add oil to heated wok.
- Add pork and after 5 minutes, add all ingredients into the wok and simmer for 40 minutes or till the pork is tender enough.
- Remove most of the sauce.
- Caramelise the meat in medium heat.
- After the Char Siew is done, glaze with some honey
At 3.44 pm: In goes the pork, oil and sauce. Simmer in low fire. Watch the water level and adjust if you need to.
At 4:49 (after about an hour), the sauce has turned syrupy. By now, the meat is done. As I have cooked this many times, I can judge just by the 'bounce' of the meat. If you are not sure, cut off a piece and taste. If your strips are cut thinner (e.g. 4 strips for a kilo of pork), 40-45 minutes should do the job. Note: Don't overcook the meat if you like your Char Siew to have a nice bite, look smooth when cut i.e. fats not wrinkled up and meat coming loose.
Pour out the sauce into another bowl. See the sauce below. As I am using pork belly, there is a layer fat at the top.
4:52 - Now we enter the searing phase. As there is just a bit of oil and sauce left in the wok, the heat contact with the meat will increase as the sauce dries up. Mallard reactions normally happen at over 150C. As you can see in the photo below, the fire is at medium. You don't need to smoke your kitchen! Turn the meat around and within 5 minutes, it should be be nicely charred in parts.
4:57pm - The meat is nicely charred.
What about the wok? As you can se in the pic below, it is not a disaster. I prefer to use a carbonised steeel wok as the surface can withstand rough treatment. Just add some water, reheat the wok and scrape with your "wok chan."It will be clean and ready for another lot of CS.
There you go, 3 beautiful strips of Auntie Ruby Char Siew. I did not add any red colouring powder.
What did I eat this batch of Char Siew with? That will be the next post.
Can you improve or alter this recipe? Of course you can. Use rose wine if you like. Or Hoi Sin Sauce instead of oyster sauce (will be sweeter). And just in case you are wondering, I don't like the taste of Lee Kum Kee's Char Siu sauce. But I suggest you stick to my Mum's recipe first.