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Juicy Barbecued Pork (Cantonese classic cuisine)

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BBQ Pork (Cantonese classic cuisine) 蜜餞叉燒

When I went to Cantonese restaurants with my parents, I was always attracted by their BBQ Pork (Cha Siu, or Cha Shao 叉燒) because of its lovely color in red and sweet fragrance. “Cha Siu” literally means "fork burn/roast". My mother said it’s better to use pork butt when roasting BBQ pork. Pork butt contains a lot of fat that results in moist, succulent meat after many hours of slow cooking with low heat.

Having moved to Australia, I have had less chances to go to Cantonese restaurants and Yamcha (飲茶). Well, it’s not bad though. I can learn to roast Cha Siu by myself at home. Traditionally, the masters who roast Cha Siu for Chinese restaurants would use a very huge oven. They skewer all seasoned boneless pork strips with long forks and place them in huge covered ovens so that all pork strips can be baked evenly and easily brushed with honey. However, we only have a moderate, home-size oven. How can we hang up a pork strip? Fortunately, my sister-in-law shared a trick with me. It’s very easy and simple. I’m very impressed with the result by using her trick. Now I can always enjoy professional-like, yet DIY kind of BBQ pork at home.

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger juice
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  1. Rinse and cut pork butt into strip(s) about 2 and half inch in width each. Add seasoning with Barbecue Chinese sauce (Char Siu sauce). Marinate the pork and put in a fridge. For a better result, marinate for overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C. Put seasoned pork strip(s) in a ceramic tray (oven-proof) with all the marinade, then cover with foil. Bake for about 50 minutes. Uncover and put away the foil, lower heat to 100C. Since then, you have to keep an eye on it. Spoon BBQ sauce over pork strip(s) every 10 minutes to keep moist. You might like to turn the other side of pork strip(s) to bake. Keep basting sauce over the pork to keep moist. When the sauce lessens and thickens, brush pork strip(s) with honey and bake for 20 minutes. After brushing on with honey, the pork would gradually turn red in color. If you’re satisfied with the color and the consistency of the gravy, it’s done.
  3.  Let the BBQ pork stand for 10 minutes after taking out from oven. You’ll loose much juice inside otherwise. When the pork cool down a bit, cut and arrange it as desired. Don’t forget to go with the gravy inn oven tray. Excellent taste!
 BBQ Pork Procedures 蜜餞叉燒製作圖

  1.  Remember to keep basting sauce over pork strip(s) whilst baking. It’s the key to success in baking succulent BBQ pork.
  2.  Don’t brush any honey too early because you don’t want the pork to be burnt easily. Just apply when the pork is nearly done.


  1. When you say to use freshly grated ginger juice, do I grate the ginger first, squeeze the juice out and leave out the grated ginger? Or do I add the squeezed grated ginger in along with the juice?

  2. To Bentoist:
    Just use the ginger juice and discard the grated ginger. That would be enough.

  3. I followed this marinade but a different recipe for the cooking (only using 500 g and baking on a roasting tin at 180 degrees for 40 mins turning once halfway) but it came out great. I just wanted to thank you Christine for these wonderful recipes. I've recently moved to London from NYC's Chinatown and have been craving all these foods that I used to take for granted since it was always downstairs. Since I can only make a trip to London's Chinatown once a week at most, it is great to be able to make my own food with your recipes. Thanks!

  4. To Anonymous:
    That's wonderful.
    Yeah, leaving our home country always make us think more of our hometown foods.
    Every time you want to eat BBQ pork, you don't need to make a trip to Chinatown then. Fresh and juicy BBQ pork is right at your finger tips.

  5. i try this wonderful recipe and it taste great, thanks!!
    by the way do u know how to cook the roast pork, soy chicken, and roast duck?

  6. To Anonymous,
    Thanks for letting me know you tried and loved this recipe.
    Yeah, I've cooked roast pork and soy chicken before, but not roast duck.

  7. hi Christine
    do u know have recipe for soy chicken and roast pork?

  8. sorry i mean do u have recipe for soy chicken and roast pork ? thanks

  9. To Anonymous:
    Just posted the recipe of soy sauce chicken this morning. Take a look!

  10. hi Christine

    thanks alot, i will surely try it

  11. Does the pork have to be cut into two and a half inch thick strips? That sounds quite thick, unless one of the other dimensions is narrower, I'm not sure how the marinade would get all the way to the heart of such a thick slab of meat.

    I don't cook often, I'm quite new to cooking for myself, but this looked really tasty and not too difficult, so do forgive me if it seems like a strange thing to be asking about.

  12. To Red El,

    After mixing the pork with the marinade, put into your fridge, for at least overnight. Let the marinade penetrate into the meat.

    You can cut into smaller strips if you like, of course.

  13. Hi,

    Can I know what is pork butt? Can I get it from supermarket like coles or woolworths?


  14. Hi Iris,
    I got the cut of pork butt from Asian butchers. It seems that neither Coles nor Woolworths has pork butt. You might replace it with pork fillet or pork neck. These cuts are very suitable for making BBQ pork.

  15. Hi Christine, thanks for sharing such great recipes.
    I don't have BBQ sauce, what can I replace with? Thanks.


  16. @Joie:
    I like to use BBQ sauce because it's very handy. Some people use bean sauce and hoisin sauce. You might google those recipes on the internet. :)

  17. what is port butt in chinese?

  18. Hi Christine ..may i ask you what is pork fillet and pork neck in chinese. Thank you.

  19. Hi Christine
    I've made this dish and we did not finish eating the sauce. Can I use the sauce again to marinate and cook a second time?

    Thank you!

  20. Hi
    You can for sure as long as the sauce is kept well in fridge.

  21. Thank you! Merry Christmas!