Friday, April 1, 2011

Chashu - Chinese Barbecued Pork

Japanese Americans call it Chashu.

It's also known as Charsiu or char siew--in any case, I'm talking about Chinese flavored barbecued pork.

When I made the Avocado Chashu Sandwich, I bought the chashu from a restaurant/Chinese barbecue place.

Today I'm making it.


2 lbs. pork tenderloin or pork butt
1 bottle char siu sauce

There are a lot of recipes for chashu online, I eventually settled upon the one by RasaMalaysia. I was prepared to buy the spices and mix up the sauce from scratch.

But then I saw that the company that makes a black bean sauce I like, also makes char siu sauce, and decided to use that one instead.

I used the other half of this package on the Tonkatsu.

At Costco, it comes in twos.

I looked at 99 Ranch Market, our local Chinese market for this maltose.

It's over in the section with the honey, molasses and syrup, not by the sugar.

If you're going to make the marinade from scratch, this is the sweetener to use.

But then I saw this jar and bought it, too.

When I got home, opened it, and gave it a taste, I decided to go with this one.

They have it at for $2.49, in case there isn't an Asian market near you.

The meat comes in two long pieces.

I cut each one into three pieces and put them in a plastic zip lock bag.

I added a scant 1/2 cup of the Char Siu Sauce marinade and moved the pieces around in the bag until they were coated evenly.

Then I squeezed as much air out as possible and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

I remember my mom making chashu when I was little, and she would roast the meat over a pan of water to keep it moist.

That's what this arrangement is for.

After arranging the meat on the rack, I gave the pieces a quick baste with more of the sauce.

Then I put them into a 350 degree F oven and poured, from the tea kettle, about a one-inch depth of boiling water into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast for 30 minutes.

After 15 minutes, I turned the pieces over and gave them another baste with the sauce.

After the 30 minutes in the oven, to give them a nice char, I put them on the barbecue outside for a couple of minutes.

You can do this under the broiler, too, or over the flame on the stove.

Or cook them on the barbecue the whole time.

After they've gotten a little bit of color, they're done!

Wait about 10 minutes before slicing the meat.

It came out really juicy and soft.

The pork tenderloin doesn't have much fat, and what fat I could see, I left on.

That's where the flavor is.

Gary said it tastes like the chashu they used to serve at The Great Wall Chinese restaurant in West Covina.

Lilian stopped by after school and couldn't stop eating it.



All around me, baseball is in the air.

My son Rick has been excited in anticipation of baseball's opening day for the last few weeks.

Karen and Mitchell went to a Giants game last week, and the photos she sent remind me of the first time we met Mitchell at a Dodgers game.

My nephew Colin's got high school baseball in full swing, too.

But it's not just the baseball season itself.

It's also Fantasy Baseball season.

What a great invention to enhance the baseball season!

According to Rick, it enables each participant to become a major league GM, general manager. That's right up Rick's alley--baseball and money matters.

Fantasy Baseball also creates interest in all games across both leagues--because, for example, even though you may not be a Mariner's fan, you might have Jason Vargas on your Fantasy team, so you'll be aware of when he's pitching and what his statistics are.

I love listening to Rick talk about baseball.

It's one of his passions.

He always has lots of baseball stories to tell, a lot of them are about his friend, Rich Hernandez.

That's Rich there, at the end on the right.

Rich is really knowledgeable about baseball (about sports in general), and has a quick, sharp, wit.

He's the reigning Fantasy Baseball champ in their circle, and their 
Mr. Personality.

So now, I, too, look forward to the baseball season.

When I was a little girl, I was a big Dodger fan. My dad would take me to games to see my favorite player, Jim Lefebvre.

I haven't been a baseball fan since then, but have become one, once again.

When I see this guy...

I think of these guys, when they were little, and summer barbecues at the Godinez house up the street.

I'm also a fan of Sergio Santos, of the White Sox.

When I see Sergio pitching, I think of the neighborhood kid shouting over our back fence,

"Hi Mr. Fujimoto! It's me, Sergio!"

I saw Sergio recently at a birthday party. He's all grown up with kids of his own.

Baseball also makes me think of this beautiful woman on the left, Joanne. Her three children played softball/baseball--what a fan she was!

And how much she is missed.

 But mostly I'm a baseball fan now because of this guy.

Because I love my son and love to hear him talk about one of his passions.


No printable recipe for this one yet.


  1. I took the lazy way, Karolyn. I bought the Charsiu from the Chinese deli.

    I like the tone of the last couple of sentences. I hear it and it's sweet.

  2. Oh Karolyn,
    The charsiu looks delicious and I'm definately going to try making it for my carnivor/Dodger fan. Your comments warm my heart and makes me feel conected to you. Keith, my son is 11 years old and is playing little league.I too love to listen to him talk to my husband or his friends about the game, the players, the plays, pitchers,'s just amazing to see the excitment and love for a right of passage for a little boy. I can remember my dad taking us to Dodger games too. My favorite or should I say favorites were Steve Yeager, Steve Garvey, and Ron Cey. I remember Channel 4 had a fantasy contest, and Margaret and I wanted to challenge Steve Yeager (I think) to a bubble gum blowing contest. I don't think we ever entered the contest or if we did we didn't win. Good times with more to come. Thanks! ;)

  3. This pork looks fantastic! If the weather warms up (like the weather man says it's going to!) then I'll be firing up the grill next week!

  4. This pork looks superb! I love pork tenderloin, and this is the first recipe I've seen that uses that lean cut rather than a fattier cut for Chinese BBQ Pork. Thanks so much for the stp-by-step recipe. I will definitely be making this!

    My husband is a huge baseball fan as well, and is currently involved with - I think - 3 fantasty leagues. Ah, men ;).