Pork Jowl Char Siew

Friday, June 06, 2014

I have just returned from spending 5 months in Toronto, Canada as a part of my Sabbatical break. This is also one reason I was blogging less. I met many wonderful friends in Toronto and there are many good things about the city which I hope to write about soon.

Being a food blog, it is back to food. And I am back to my home and familiar kitchen environment. I was early at the wet market this morning and was glad to come across some pork jowl (or cheek). It is not displayed and you have to ask the butcher for it.

Using my Mum's Char Siew recipe (here and here - I have been blogging Char Siew recipes ad infinitum!), I patiently braised the cheeks till I got the right texture. The result is a tender succulent CS with a nice "bounce" to the bite. Do cook it on low fire and be patient.

My friend just returned from Hong Kong and gave me packets of dried noodles. Making Char Siew using the wok made sense as it ends with a sauce which I can use for the noodles. Add some wontons, blanched veg and fish balls and we had a satisfying dinner. It is a good and simple way to celebrate the joy of home cooking...at home.

It is nice to be back. Here are some pics to inspire you.

Pork Jowl or cheeks
Braising in the pan
Almost done, after 35 minutes
Searing or "charring" the cheeks
On the left are the jowls, lean pork belly on the right
We love the bite of the jowl

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  1. Hi Pastor! Glad to know you are safely home.

    I live in California and would like to try using pork jowl for char siu but I don't know how to ask for it. What is it called in Cantonese? Some of the butchers in the Asian markets can speak Cantonese. I have been using belly pork but would like to use pork jowl instead. There is a cut they call pork cushion. It looks something like your picture of the pork jowl.



  2. VT - Pat your cheeks and your butcher will know. :)

  3. Thanks. Will try. Just hope the butcher understands.