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Slow cooked Char Siu style pork belly

By September 30, 2016 , , ,

Who doesn't like the sticky sweet char siu pork that is on almost every Chinese menu, especially the version that comes in those gorgeous fluffy steamed buns? 

I love Chinese food and while its always nice to go out for dinner, sometimes its nice to attempt something other than stir fry at home. 

I will advise that you give yourself a good day to make this recipe as it does take a long time to cook. The preparation itself is quick and painless, so you can spend the day relaxing as you wait for the pork to cook. I remove the skin from this piece of belly as I want to be able to shred the pork once its cooked as it should fall to pieces once its done. I make pork scratchings with the skin which make a nice snack while you are waiting for your pork to cook.

For the sauce
2 cloves garlic grated
1 inch ginger grated
50ml red bean paste
50ml hoi sin sauce
50ml soy sauce
30ml runny honey

Mix all the above ingredients together to combine

My preferred method is to sous vide and then finish on the BBQ this as it retains more flavour of the sauce and the meat is less likely to dry out. I have provided other methods should you so wish to cook it that way too. 

Sous vide method 
Place the skinned pork belly in a vacuum bag with the sauce and seal
Cook at 85c in your sous vide for 4 hours
Then remove from the vacuum bag and place in an oven at 200c (fan) 210c (normal) or on the BBQ on indirect heat at 200c, basting with the sauces for about 45 minutes
Allow to rest before serving

BBQ and Oven methods
Take 1 kg pork belly skin removed and baste with all the sauce
Place in a baking tray in a low oven at 110c (fan), 120c (normal)
If cooking on the BBQ then set the BBQ up for indirect cooking at 120c 
For both methods follow the instructions as below
First cook for 3 hours, continually basting with the sauce
Cover the pork with foil and cook for another 2 hours
After 2 hours remove the foil and raise the oven (or BBQ) temp to 190c (fan) 200c (normal) and cook for a further hour
Remove from the oven (or BBQ) to a warm place and cover and allow to rest for 30 mins

You can serve this in bao buns here is the recipe which you can make whilst the belly is cooking

To make the buns

200g plain flour, with extra for rolling out the buns
5g caster sugar
5ml rice wine vinegar
3g dried yeast
20ml milk
100ml water
5ml to 7ml plain oil, allow a little extra to brush the buns when forming them to stop them sticking

Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft wet dough, knead for about 5 mins and cover the dough in the bowl and then rest for 15 mins
On a floured board cut the dough into 10 equally sized pieces form into balls, then roll out each ball into a flat round with a rolling pin
Place each round on a baking tray covered with non stick parchment, using the excess oil brush each round and then fold over one side onto the other
Cover and allow to rise until the rounds have doubled in size this may take over an hour
To cook place the buns in a steamer and cook for 10 - 15 mins

Serve the pork in the buns with some thinly sliced spring onions and cucumber

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  1. Char Siu is delicious! I made a char siu based glaze some time ago since I had forgotten to marinate my pork belly haha. Works fine too :p

  2. In the sous vide method, do you roast it an hour in the oven at 400F, the same as the oven method?

    1. Hi Kathi, As mentioned you can either BBq or oven cook it for 45 mins to one hour just to get a nice glaze on it.

  3. Thanks! So sorry, I didn't see that in the recipe! Going to try it for sure!

    1. I made this tonight ... sous vide and then grilled on my Cobb ... it was really AMAZING! I used it to make Singapore Noodles. So great! I'm definitely going to do this again and again ... Thanks!!