Char Siu Pork

Char siu pork is a classic Cantonese dish. This is a modern riff on the dish. Instead of using pork belly or pork butt, this recipe calls for pork tenderloin. The sauce is a mix of soy sauce, Chinese five spice, garlic, and ginger.

Cutting board with char siu pork--a pork tenderloin slathered with char siu sauce--and more sauce and the side

This isn’t quite the traditional Chinese roasted pork recipe. It swaps the traditional indulgent pork butt or pork belly for learner pork tenderloin but tastes every iota as sweet and sticky and authentic as the real deal. See for yourself.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Char Siu Pork

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • One (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  • Marinate the pork
  • 1. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Place the pork in large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over. Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours, flipping the bag occasionally to evenly coat the pork.
  • Prepare the oven and roast the pork
  • 2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on the sheet. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
  • 3. Remove the pork from marinade, letting any excess drip off, and place it on the wire rack. Season on all sides with salt and pepper. Roast until the internal temperature of the pork registers 135°F (57°C), 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the tenderloin.
  • Make the char siu sauce
  • 4. While the pork is roasting, transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and stir in the ketchup and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. (It’s important to boil the marinade to kill any possible bacteria from the raw pork.)
  • Glaze and serve the pork
  • 5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Adjust the oven racks so that the top rack sits 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) from the broiler. Brush the pork with half the warm glaze; broil the pork until a deep mahogany color, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the meat over, baste with the remaining glaze and broil until the other side caramelizes, 2 to 3 minutes more. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Slice thinly and serve immediately.

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