Char siu (BBQ pork)

Char siu (BBQ pork)

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 4 hrs, 30 mins plus overnight marinating

More effort

Makes enough for 18 bao buns
Marinate rindless pork belly in a sticky hoisin barbecue sauce, then roast until tender - perfect to fill steamed bao buns for Chinese New Year

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal122
  • fat7g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs7g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre0g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 700g rindless pork belly

For the marinade

  • 4 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

To serve

  • Pickled carrot & mooli (see 'Goes well with')
  • 4-5 spring onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 6 tbsp wasabi mayonnaise (or 6 tbsp mayo mixed with 1 tsp wasabi paste)



    The Japanese answer to horseradish, wasabi is related to watercress and grows in a similar way,…


  1. Put the pork in a roasting tin, tip over all the marinade ingredients and massage it in with your fingers (or use a spoon) to coat the pork. Cover and chill overnight.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Cover the tin with foil and cook the pork for 31/2 hrs, basting every hour. Increase the oven temperature to 180C/160C/gas 4, remove the foil, baste the pork and continue to cook for 45 mins until it is beginning to caramelise around the edges.

  3. Remove the pork from the tin and set aside to rest for 20 mins. Meanwhile, spoon away any fat from the tin and transfer the sauce to a small pan. Slice the pork – it will fall apart as you cut into it – then return to the tin. Warm the sauce in the pan, then pour over the meat and toss everything together. Spoon into the hot buns with the Pickled carrot & mooli, spring onions and a dollop of wasabi mayonnaise.

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Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Jul, 2020
Meat is so tender and with the lovely char siu taste. Also works for belly pork with ribs, meat just falls off the bone.
Protein Food
28th Jul, 2017
Loved this recipe thank you. I added 5 spice and red food colour but kept everything else the same. Turned out delish!
1st Oct, 2016
Delicious. I'm Asian and cook a lot. I have tried many versions of char siu pork and this recipe is by far the best. My picky, refined palate husband loved it which says a lot. I also made thin Chinese pancakes (similar to crepes) and added char siu pork, pickled carrot mooli and wasabi mayo. The wasabi mayo topped it off! Btw I cut the sugar in half. Other than that I wouldn't change a thing.
29th Mar, 2017
Can I use premade frozen yeast roll dough to make steamed buns
30th Mar, 2016
Beautiful - well worth the time. I also made the bao buns and pickle; delicious!
22nd Mar, 2015
Excellent as a starter!
stelaholder's picture
8th Feb, 2015
Excellent recipe, well worth the effort. I served pork with stir fried mixed veg. Next time I will do steamed pak choi and rice. Delicious.
21st Apr, 2020
How did you all manage to NOT char (or burn!) the pork?! I followed the recipe exactly, exact timings etc - yet both the bottom and top of the pork belly joint had burnt. Any suggestions / tips? Very reluctant to try this recipe again now, unfortunately.
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
22nd Apr, 2020
Hey, Esther from the food team here! Apologies that you had issues with this recipe. We will look in to it. Ovens often vary in heat. If it was covered and then uncovered for the last 45 mins it may be that it just started to catch a little too much. The pork needs to char and blister to some extent but we apologise if it was tin blackened. Sorry again for any inconvenience.
22nd Mar, 2015
I recommend serving it with the steamed bao buns, it was excellent!
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