This is a Chinese (Cantonese) very famous barbecued pork dish. The name can be spelled differently: cha siew, cha su. When it came to Vietnam it became Xa Xiu.
Any time you visit China town or any town or city with Asian inhabitants, when browsing the streets the first thing that attracts your eyes are red strips of pork hanging over the counter together with roast ducks, roast pork and steamed chickens. It is really the feast to the eyes that stimulates the desire to sink your teeth into them. And as soon as you can do so, the taste buds lift you to the satisfaction land and it keeps in your memory and calls you back again and again. I know, I am one of the followers, captured before the temple.
So what do you do if you do not live near San Francisco China town or somewhere similar? You need to make your own feast. For over the years I have added this spice or other to experiment to perfect the Cha Siu recipe in my kitchen. The last time I did, my son – my critic – said it was better than in the store. Now I can share it with you.
Although I ate a lot of this Cha siu with red coloring, I am hesitant to add this red food coloring to my own meat. More than that, I have read in the news it brings some harm to human body. To make it red I use the combination of ketchup, red chili sauce, annatto seed (powder), and paprika. Just enough so that it is still Chinese barbecued pork and not Hungarian goulash or something else. The final product looks appetizingly red, but not the kind of red that creates fear. The use of fish sauce makes it complex flavored and truly an adopted Vietnamese dish.
I use the rack on top of the pan to mimick the Chinese oven, in which the pork is hanging vertically on hooks when roasting.
when done, slice the pork and fan them on a plate, spoon the sauce from the pan over them.
Cha siu can be eaten with a sauce with soy sauce base with rice, bread, and noodles, or cooked in other dishes like the Cha siu bao bun. I definitely will post the recipe for that bun.
2lb pork butt, cut into strips 1inch thick
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
¼ medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon spiced vodka (ruou mai que lo)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon chili sauce (siracha)
2 teaspoon annato powder
1 tablespoon paprika+plus more for dusting
Combine the meat and all ingredients and marinate overnight in the fridge. Turn the pork 1 or 2 times to coat the marinade. Remove from the fridge 30’ before cooking. Place a rack over the pan. Lay the meat on the rack on a single layer. Roast in the oven at 400F for 20’. Turn to the other side and roast for 10’ more. Turn off the oven, sprinkle more paprika on top of the meat, close the oven with the meat still inside for 3-5’. Remove the meat from the oven and let rest for 10’ before cutting it. Voila!
cut pork into 1-inch thick pieces (strips)
Ingredients for Cha siu pork
more Ingredients for Cha siu pork
marinate the meat in the fridge
cha siu is ready