Hoisin gives this ketchup a deep, earthy sweetness while honey, soy sauce, sherry, and five spice powder add the distinctive additional notes of char siu sauce—the Chinese answer to barbecue sauce.
'char siu' on Serious Eats
Sweet and earthy Chinese char siu set on the backdrop of smoky and tender pork shoulder steaks with luscious fat.
Sweet and earthy Chinese char siu, set on the backdrop of smoky and tender pork shoulder steaks.
Char Siu doesn't refer to a sauce particularly, but the final product after this "Chinese barbecue sauce" is applied to pork that is hung onto fork skewers and roasted. Still, there's a fairly common base set of ingredients including hoisin, honey, soy sauce, sherry, Chinese five spice powder that imparts the ubiquitous flavor and glossy sheen to Char Siu.
Marc of No Recipes marinates his char siu, or Cantonese-style barbecue pork, for 48 hours before roasting. A mix of hoisin, chili, oyster and dark soy sauces give the meat its gorgeous red color, and maltose (liquid barley sugar with a tar-like consistency) adds crazy, alluring sheen. Don't take your chances with the "overly sweet, grisly, artificially colored" char siu sometimes found in Chinatown. Buy yourself a slab of pork belly--one of the cheapest cuts there are--and follow Marc's recipe to make your own....