Pork Char Siu

Pork Char Siu

Pork Char Siu

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What’s your favourite Chinese dish? I can’t seem to narrow it down to just one but wor wonton soup and pork dumplings are definitely at the top of my list. I also enjoy dim sum with its array of steamed buns, rice rolls and dumplings. But today’s Pork Char Siu was made in preparation for wor wonton soup, which is soon to follow!! Wor, meaning “everything” in Chinese means the soup can be made with any combination of your favourite foods such as broccoli, baby bok choy, or shrimp. I personally believe that Pork Char Siu is a must to include. The sweet and salty meat is great together with the broth and vegetables and helps to make the soup a meal on its own.

Pork shoulder roast on a black cutting board with a bowl of marinade in the background in preparation for Pork Char Siu.

While wor wonton soup is one of my favourite ways to use Pork Char Siu, it’s also great in fried rice, ramen, or sliced and served with extra sauce over rice. Heck, cold pork buns are great too! The cooked pork freezes well in an airtight container for up to two months. Having three cooked pieces gives you Pork Char Siu for at least three meals if frozen separately. It makes for easy weeknight meals when you’re short on time and energy. Enjoy!

Reduced marinade in a stainless steel skillet ready to glaze the roasted pork for Pork Char Siu.
Pork Char Siu sliced and presented on a black cutting board garnished with fresh parlsey.

Pork Char Siu sliced and presented on a black cutting board garnished with fresh parlsey.
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Pork Char Siu

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 22 minutes
marinating and resting 1 day 10 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 52 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 5 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sherry or Chinese Shaohsing Wine
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 tsp red food colouring paste see note
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

Instructions

  • Trim pork shoulder of excess fat and cut lengthwise into 3 even pieces. Place pieces into a sealable bag.
  • Whisk together 3 tbsp of honey and the remaining ingredients. Pour marinade over pork and seal bag. Lay bag flat on a small tray or shallow baking pan and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, flipping at least once.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F and place rack in the middle. Line a baking tray with tin foil and parchment. Drain marinade into a shallow skillet and place pork onto the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, turn pork and continue baking for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp of honey into the marinade and reduce over medium-high heat until it coats the back of a spoon, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Generously baste pork with sauce and bake for 10 minutes. Turn pork, baste and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Turn oven to broil and remove parchment paper from under the pork to the clean tin foil beneath (see notes). Baste pork and broil for 1-2 minutes, turn pork, baste and broil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

-I used a food colouring paste, more food colouring may be required if using the liquid variety.
-Lining the pan with tin foil and parchment is important because the sugary drippings from the pork tend to burn when broiling.  Removing the parchment gives a clean surface for broiling.

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Crispy Wontons

Crispy Wontons

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

Crispy Wontons

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I’m a PIG! At least that what my friend and co-worker Yanan tells me, and who knows the Chinese zodiac better than a person born and raised in China? It’s a lucky sign/animal Yanan tells me, but being called a pig certainly doesn’t have the best ring to it. However, I must confess I have been known to be a little piggish when it comes to food LOL! Today’s Crispy Wontons are inspired by Yanan and the upcoming Chinese New Year on February 12th.

Wontons wrapped three ways on a wooden cutting board demonstrating pork wontons for the Crispy Wontons recipe.

Yanan can make the best pork dumplings and steamed buns and has been my inspiration and guidance for this post. She is always willing to teach, lend a helping hand, and has a huge heart. I can say with some honesty that my wonton making has improved with her recommendations and practice from making this post. However, it will be some time, if ever, that I can proclaim to be a pro at Chinese cooking. I will at least say it is fun to practice!

Yanan and her family immigrated from China to Quebec, Canada in 1999. They had to learn French in a French-speaking province, find employment and make their way through endless challenges in a new country. Yanan was a teacher in China and already knew technical English, but learning Americanized English was a thing of its own. The slang, profanity and innuendoes still took some learning. The tones in the Chinese language are very prevalent when she is speaking English today. They provide a level of entertainment because her tone can change with each word, leaving you to wonder if she is being passionate, angry, or simply excited about something.

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

From Quebec, Yanan and her family moved across the country to the province of Alberta. She found employment with the Correctional Service of Canada and eventually became a co-worker of mine. She is a joy to me, and I consider myself lucky to call her a friend. Happy New Year Yanan!

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.

Crispy Wontons piled high in a brown bowl resting on a red napkin with a dark background.
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Crispy Wontons

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 52 wontons

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese wine or sherry
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 pkg wonton wrappers
  • as needed canola oil

Instructions

  • Line a large baking tray with parchment and fill a small bowl with cold water.
  • In a medium bowl add all ingredients except wrappers and canola oil. Mix gently until well combined.
  • Lay 8-10 wrappers on a flat surface. Place approximately 2 teaspoons of pork filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the outer edge of the wrapper with water using your fingertip. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, pressing lightly on the edges to create a good seal. Dab both lower corners with water and bring both lower corners across and together pressing lightly to hold. It will look like a bishops hat. Place prepared wonton on the baking tray and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Keep the wrappers and prepared wontons covered with a clean damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  • Attach a candy/high-temperature thermometer to the side of a large pot at least 9" in diameter. Add enough canola oil to come up a minimum of 3 inches. Heat oil to 350°F.
  • Carefully drop wontons into the hot oil, about 8-10 at a time depending on the size of your pot. Cook for 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove with a mesh/slotted scoop to a paper towel-lined tray. Repeat with remaining wontons, adjusting temperature as you go to maintain the 350°F.
  • Serve immediately with plum sauce, sweet chili sauce or a soy dipping sauce.

Notes

-Wontons can be shaped in a variety of different ways.  I like to use the simple folded triangle method which resembles a bishop's hat, however, any shape will work. Three varieties are shown in the post.
-Alternatively, you can use an electric deep fryer set at 350°F to cook the wontons.

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Affiliate Disclosure

I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com