Sweet and Sticky Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Go Back
+ servings
Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) thinly sliced and fanned out on a cutting board.
Print Recipe
4.94 from 49 votes

Sweet and Sticky Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

If you love a juicy, sweet & sticky char siu (Chinese BBQ Pork), try this easy recipe! Delicious char siu is achievable at home in an oven or on a grill!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: cha siu, char siu, char siu recipe, chinese bbq pork
Servings: 4 -6 Servings
Calories: 706kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks



  • 2 tablespoons honey (or maltose or barley malt syrup or fancy molasses (not blackstrap molasses))
  • 1-2 cubes red fermented tofu (add an additional 4 teaspoons of the sauce, mashed together - this is also known as red bean curd)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped, approximately 1 ½ tablespoons)
  • 4 slices of ginger (roughly chopped, approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice cooking wine (or dry sherry)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Korean pepper flakes (optional, for additional color and a mild spiciness. It will also give it an earthier flavor)


  • 2-3 lbs pork shoulder (cut into long 3 inch thin strips)


  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • leftover marinade


Cutting and Marinating the Meat

  • Cut the pork shoulder into long strips, that are roughly 3 inch thick. Mine are usually sized around 3 inches wide, and 5-7 inches long.
  • Combine the ingredients in the marinade section into a ziplock or a big bowl and combine it with the pork.
  • Marinate it in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preparing the Glaze

  • Remove the meat from the marinade and let it sit for an hour in room temperature.
  • Add the marinade to a small pot and remove the chunks of garlic and ginger
  • Add 2 tablespoons of honey into the marinade and mix well.
  • Cook it on low heat on a stove for 5 minutes or when the sauce starts to boil.
  • Set it aside for later, we will use this for glazing at the end of grilling

(Option 1) Grilling the Pork on the BBQ

  • Heat up BBQ to 325F (162C)
  • Cook the char siu for 15 mins on one side, then flip it for another 10 mins. Check the meat thermometer. The temperature should be around 145F (62C). If it's not, keep the meat on longer until it reaches that internal temperature.
  • Once it hits an internal temperature of 145F (62C), we glazed 4-5 times, flipping the meat every minute to prevent burning
  • When the meat looks red, sticky and slightly burnt, remove it from the BBQ and let it rest for 20 mins on a plate before cutting into it.
  • Once the meat has rested, cut it up and enjoy!! ?

(Option 2) Cooking the Char Siu in the Oven

  • Set up the meat on the tray or roasting rack and use a rack so there is air flow below the meat. I like it to line it with foil before setting down a rack for an easier cleanup. If you don't have a rack, you can take foil and crunch them up into loose foil balls and rest the meat on that.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F (204C).
  • Once the oven has reached 400F (204C) bake the pork for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the pork and cook for another 20 minutes
  • For the next 20 minutes, flip and glaze the meat every 3-5 minutes until all the glaze is brushed on. Don't worry if there are charred sections, it's a trademark of char siu as well! :)
  • Once the meat is done (when it reaches an internal temperature of 145F (62C)), let it rest for 10-15 minutes, cut it up and enjoy! :)


  • Cutting the pork up in long thin chunks allows it to cooks faster, and you get more surface area for the glaze.
  • Depending on your oven, the heat may vary. If you notice that you are not getting much of a char on your char siu, set the oven to broil and broil each side for 5 minutes (10 minutes in total) at the very end when the meat has finished cooking. Make sure you don't leave the area and watch the oven while it is broiling so it doesn't burn too much.
  • The glaze is essentially made with the leftover marinade and additional honey. The additional honey will sweeten up the glaze and thicken it up to give us that nice sticky thick layer
  • Use fancy/cooking molasses and not blackstrap molasses as that is bitter.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 706kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 44g | Sodium: 546mg | Sugar: 17g