Friday, January 25, 2008

Char Siu (Chinese Barbequed Pork)

My husband really loves the Chinese barbecued pork from the Hot Wok at our local grocery store. It calls to him. Because of his low sodium diet, he really shouldn't eat it. But if he's feeling down, he sometimes gives into temptation. I didn't think it was possible to make this dish at home until several months ago when I found some homemade recipes online. I copied the recipes but was hesitant to use them because of the use of hoisin sauce. I figured it was too salty to even use a little bit. I even looked up recipes for homemade hoisin sauce, but I didn't want to end up making another disappointing homemade concoction.

Anyhow, our local grocery store had pork on sale, so I decided to give the recipes a try. I checked out the brands of hoisin available, and bought the one with the lowest sodium content (Sun Luck: 240 mg/tbsp). I also drastically reduced the amount used in the recipes. The pork marinated for a day, and we had it for dinner tonight. My husband really liked it, so I can add it to my low sodium Chinese repertoire. Here's what I did:

Char Siu Pork
(Printable Recipe)

1 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce (Substitute 1 tsp. of salt-free 5 spice powder for even lower sodium)
3 tbsp. honey 

2 tbsp. low sodium Soy Sauce
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 clove garlic crushed

Glaze :
2 tbsp. honey, warmed

2 lbs. pork tenderloin

Put all ingredients except the pork and glaze in a small saucepan. Heat for a couple of minutes, long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat and cool. Marinate pork in this mixture for 6-8 hours minimum; the longer, the more flavor (I marinated overnight) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pork from marinade and arrange on a rack set on a roasting pan.(I lined the pan with Reynold's Non-Stick foil). Bake 10 - 15 minutes. Turn the pork over.

Cook for another 10 - 15 minutes. Do NOT overcook or the meat will dry out! Check temperature; it should be about 135 - 140 degrees. The temperature will rise, and the pork will continue cooking as it broils. Remove from oven. Brush pork with the warmed honey glaze and broil for about 2-4 minutes until it is nicely browned and slightly charred. Let pork rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Barbie said...

hi Shambo, this looks like a great recipe and I absolutely love this Mandarin pork. I don't see were you tell what kind of pork to buy, is ita pork loin, pork tenderloin or pork chops?

shambo said...

Barbie, sorry about the omission. I will edit it. I use pork tenderloin, and it is fine as long as I don't overcook it. The tenderloin is so lean that it's easy to dry out. Actually it's better to under-cook the pork a bit during the initial roast and take a little longer during the broiling so you get a nice char without turning the meat into shoe leather.