Saturday, September 26, 2009
Homemade Char Siew
This weekend's fun project was making char siew for the first time. Turns out it's a lot easier than I thought - just marinate and roast. The best thing is, you can omit the red food colouring. I adapted the ieat Fatty Cheong recipe (see below).
The char siew turned out not bad, but still missing a certain something. It is a bit too salty (I started marinating a day before roasting). But at least it's not cloyingly sweet. The surprise ingredient here was taucheo (bean paste) - I never knew char siew involved this. I'm not crazy about taucheo so I reduced the proportion used but the flavour came out quite strongly still.
These are the measurements I used. By the way, this makes A LOT OF MARINADE. You can easily soak 1kg pork in this.
0.5 kg Pork Collar (if you like it juicy) or Pork Shoulder (if you like it leaner)
150g Oyster Sauce
100g Bean Paste (Taucheo or Dou Jiang)
100ml Soya Sauce
2 teaspoon Rice Wine
2 teaspoon Black Soya Sauce
I omitted the red food colouring, but you can put 1 tsp if you like.
1. Mix all the ingredients together and marinade the meat in it for at least an hour (overnight is best).
2. Roast in a moderately hot oven for half an hour, turning and basting the meat till it is cooked and slightly charred.
I roasted it in my tabletop oven, 200 degrees C for half an hour (basting halfway and at the end), and then at 240 degrees for another 10 minutes for greater char.
Oh yes, my favourite parts are the charred bits.
Well, now I can say I have made both char siew and roast pork. Still prefer the latter over char siew though.
Oh the other thing to note is that the pork shrinks a bit after roasting. I thought I might have leftovers to make char siew pao but it was all gone in one meal.
Addendum: Was talking to Tiantianchi on Facebook and he suggested adding a pinch of five-spice powder and even using rose dew wine 玫瑰露 instead of rice wine. Fantastic ideas! I'm also thinking of experimenting with miso honey combinations rather than taucheo.