Sunday, January 28, 2007

Char Siew (non-bake version)

I was actually looking for something in my old recipe file but couldn't find it. Instead came across this non-bake char siew. Since hubby was going to do the marketing today, I got him to buy me some pork to make this char siew.

Here is the recipe and the step-by-step pictures of how it is being done.

Char Siew

500 gm pork (wu hua)
70 gm sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
300 ml water
a little red colouring powder
2 tbsp oil


Mix sugar, salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water and colouring in a mixing bowl.
Add in pork and marinate for at least 4 hrs.
Pour seasoning sauce in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in pork and let it boil.
Lower fire and simmer meat until tender and sauce thickens.
Lastly add in oil so that surface of char siew will be glossy.

Marinate pork for 4 hours.
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Bring the marinate sauce to a boil.
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Add in the seasoned pork to the pot and bring to a boil.
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Lower fire and simmer pork until the sauce thickens.
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Marinate sauce thickens.
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Ready to eat char siew.
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I have added a little bit of diluted sauce over the char siew.
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Anonymous said...

Wow! Your char siew looks so good! I have tried a few no bake char siew and they didn't turn out too well. I'm going to try yours.

Btw, what is wu hua? Is it belly pork?



xan said...

Hi Leelee

looks darn good! how long did you need to let it simmer over the fire before the sauce thickens?

Hugbear said...

nitebird, yes wu hua is pork belly. The butcher knows that I don't like too fatty pork so he gave me something with less fats.

Xan, I acually turned to medium fire because I wanted the sauce to thick faster. I think it took me less than 30 mins for the sauce to thicken.

Chawanmushi said...

I think I'll like doing this char siew recipe. It seems so easy and the char siew will be moist and soft. Thanks for sharing this :-)

Hugbear said...

Cecily, this is very easy. Try doing it. The original recipe asked for 100 gm of sugar which I find too sweet. Cut it down to 70 gm. However, if you have a sweettooth, you may want to use more than 70 gm. Up to you.

keng said...

Hi Lee Lee,

I tried your non-bake char siew the other day and I must say it tasted very nice. I had omitted the red colouring and had actually forgotten to add the salt, but luckily, the char siew still turned out all right. My 4yo loves it very much. Kept asking for more servings. Thanks for sharing this easy way of preparing char siew.

Hugbear said...

keng, glad you like this recipe. It's cheaper to make it on your own and very easy too. Best part is no need to marinate overnight.

V. said...

Hi Lee Lee,
Was looking for a no bake char siew on google and came across your blog. Tried your recipe, and it came out wonderful. My kids ate most of it! :) Thank you for sharing! Btw, may I add your blog to my links?

Hugbear said...

Hi V. You are most welcome. I am honoured to be added to your blog. BTW what is your blog, I would like to take a peep at it. Hehehe.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Lee Lee,
Thanks for your reply, and here's my humble blog. :)

Lilac said...

Hi Lee Lee,
I tried your method of making char siew and it's so good. No need to grill and dirty the oven with all the splatters. I couldn't find pork belly, so I used shoulder blade. After cooking the marinade, there were lots of scum which I sieved and kept only the liquid.
We had char siew fan and then diced the rest for char siew bun fillings, made charn bao using your sweet bread dough recipe.
Your recipes are really good.
Thanks for sharing.

Hugbear said...

Hi Lilac, glad that you like it.

Glory said...

Hi Lee Lee,
Just wanna let u know that i tried this last night. Was nice. Didnt have wu hua so used pork shoulders (a little hard but still ok). Both dh & i liked it (even our friend liked it too!). Will definitely make this again, but will either reduce the sugar or increase the liquid cos we found it slightly too sweet. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :-)

sandra said...

hi.. i was searching for a char siew recipe and i came across ur blog..

your recipe looks really easy and easily available ingredients. (The others all requires hoisin sauce or five spice powder which i dont forsee myself using it for other dishes)....

shall try ur recipe! (Attempting char siew wanton noodles this weekend.. =)

Hugbear said...

Hi Sandra, how was your char siew wanton noodles? A hit with the family?

sandra said...

hey there..

gosh, making char siew is so tiring!! it takes so long to marinate (ok i am impatient) and i cooked it using my toaster after i boil the mixture for just 5 mins and the pot was getting black.. i panicked and put the meat and marinate into a aluminium container and toasted it in toaster. I modified it a bit.. i used tomato sauce to give it the red colour.. it works very well!

it was tiring but a good experience... =) thanks for sharing your receipe!!!

Anonymous said...

hi, hugbear
Had tried your no-bake-char-siew last weekend. Easy to prepare & cook, my hubby and kids like it very much. thanks for sharing.

Hugbear said...

Hi Jacqueline, thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

I came to look for your famous roast pork recipe but found this char siew recipe instead. It was very good. I will try next with ribs.

Jcleng said...


I have printed most of your recipes and tried to cook a few of it (It turned out very well and delicious). Thank you.


joyce said...


can i check how come my sauce don't seem to thicken up even though i simmer if for quite some time.

how do u achieve the char ta look on the meat......? tks


My Wok Life said...

Hi, I used wok to roast my Char Siew over stove, too! I tried both baking and 'wokking' methods which gave me similar result. Share my Char Siew Recipe with you here!

Hugbear said...

Hi my wok life, thanks for sharing your char siew recipe. Where can I see your recipe?

Anonymous said...

Hi Hugbear !

Thank you for the great recipe !
I am a char-siew lover since I was a kid.
I have not taste decent char siew for almost 8 years since I migrate to USA.
I am very very happy today, as I found your recipe and made fantastic char-siew today !!

Yummy !!


miss cook said...

hi hugbear.

i tried out the recipe it turn out really good and it was my first attempt too...thank you =)


Hugbear said...

Thanks to all those friends who have tried this recipe and letting me know that the recipe works.

Joyce asked how to have the char ta look on her char siew. Easy, after cooking, put it in the oven to grill for just a bit to get the char ta appearance.

chumpman said...

My families and I love char siew but I'm too lazy to bake. I have to try this recipe and if it turns out well, it will be another dish to be made once every 2 weeks except three cups chicken !

Anonymous said...

Do you know where i can buy the red colouring in Perth?

Hugbear said...

Sorry I have no idea where you can get that in Perth.

Anonymous said...

sorry, I really felt dumb after realising you are in Singapore. I have an impression you are in Perth. My bad..really missed char siew a lot will it a shot without red powder hope it turns out alrite.

Hugbear said...

It's ok dear. Why don't you just add a few drops of red colouring to get the char siew colour. If not just leave it as brown char siew also can.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hugbear

I tried your recipe but the water doesnt seen to get thicken after simmer it for more than 30mins. Instead the meat shrink in size unlike in your picture the size remain quite almost the same. Did i do any thing wrong?


Hugbear said...

You can try to up the fire after 30 mins to thicken the sauce. I guess the meat will somehow reduce in size as it gets cook. So I don't think you have done anything wrong.

YM said...

Thanks for the wonderful recipe. My char siew turn out really nice and tender. My family enjoyed this and they found it hard to believe the char siew was not baked/roasted.

ting said...

this is the best char siu recipe EVER!!! thanks!!! simply delicious!

Hugbear said...

Hi YM and Ting, great that the recipe work out well for both of you.

LK said...


may I check what is the red coloring powder ? Is it the one we use it to make red eggs?

Chanced upon yr URL and I love it !!! I wish I can cook as many stuff as u....

Anonymous said...

Hi Hugbear

I was searching for a non bake char siew recipe and came across yours. I hate to clean up the mess in the oven after roasting and your method works great. I have done it twice and am so happy with the results.

Just a suggestion .... try adding 3 cloves of garlic and about 10 small coriander leaves (pound both fine)and also add 1 tsp 5 spice powder, 1 tsp rose wine. It will kick up your char siew a few more notches!!!

Thanks again.


Hugbear said...

Hi VT, thanks so much for sharing with me the 'extras' that I can add into this recipe. Will definitely give it a try using your method.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hugbear

You're welcome. Hope you'll like the char siew with the extra ingredients.

Looking forward to trying your other recipes.


Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Wu hua is also known as Pork neck.

Try replacing the marinate with char siew sauce plus chopped garlic. It is easier and very good indeed.

I just came back from Melbourne and I taught my son and his friends and they find it so easy.

You must try it~ no regret.

gorilla said...

Hi Hugbear,

Sorry if this is a silly question. Do I remove the thick skin on top of the wuhua pork? The wuhua pork I usually see comes with a thick pig skin on top and the char siew you make doesn't seem to have it!

Thanks for your time to reply! =)

Hugbear said...

No need the skin. Usually we keep the skin when we are doing roast pork (烧肉).

Mon Bro said...

I will try this one this week!

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