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Char Siu - The Charm Of Chinese Barbeque

Apr 23, 2008
Char siu, the other name for Chinese Barbequed pork is in fact Cantonese-style barbequed pork. The primary requirement for cooking up this delicacy is a long stretch of boneless pork mainly taken from the shoulder. Char siu is characteristic in its own type due to its coating of seasonings which makes the meat look dark red. The seasoning ingredients of this red devil include red food coloring, sugar or honey, sherry or rice wine and five-spice powder.

How the dish is prepared and served

This BBQ variety involves a conventional cooking process. Forks are used to hold the meat within covered oven or barely over the fire. This Chinese barbequed pork is never eaten alone. It is in fact a form of accompaniment to other food preparations like Cha Siu Baau. Here the barbequed pork is stuffed in buns with Char Siu rice and is deliciously served.

However, its list of accompaniments does not end over here. Char siew can be eaten with other cookeries like salted duck egg, chicken with Soy sauce and sliced steamed chicken, roasted duck and roasted pork. Not only rice, noodles such as Lai fun, Shahe fen, and Wonton noodles too seem great with Char Siu. In Singapore, Char Siew looks brilliant with Hainanese chicken rice.

Cantonese-speaking people including Southern China, Malaysia and Singapore enjoy this dish full-flegedly and whole-heartedly. This BBQ specialty also makes its appearance in Chinese restaurants and several notable food markets of the world. Japan has however specialized in this art of barbequing, which is known as Chashu without the red sugar and five-spice preparation but obviously with sweet honey and soy sauce coating.

The art of cooking Char Siu

The preparation of this barbeque is a unique combination of mixing, marinating and roasting. After the mixing has been properly done, sliced pork of about 2 inches in width and 5 inches in length are applied to the marinade and kept in the condition from two hours till overnight. The oven should gain a heat of 425 degree and the rack should be added to the roasting pan before it is filled with water in order to make the rack lower down.

The excess marinate from the pork should be wiped off and made to stand in a line in the roasting pan. The roasting should go on for ten minutes. Now the next step would be to reduce the heat to 325 degree and allow the pork to be roasted for another thirty to forty minutes. As you turn the meat from side to side with sesame oil, peanut oil and marinade, the finishing is provided with a dash of honey for ten minutes. Then it is time for you to cut the pork into bite size pieces to make others enjoy each munch with fun and contentment.

Though the seed of Char Siu was sowed in China but the flavor of its harvest has spread to various parts of Asia. In fact, this dish of Chinese barbequed pork is tastefully striking enough to gain universal appreciation.
About the Author
Chris McCarthy manages InsaneChicken's BBQ Sauce and Hot Sauce Catalog. Chris' InsaneChicken Hot Sauce Store has also been featured on the Food Network.
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