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Cha Siu Roasted Pork

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have two recipes for Chinese roasted pork, one says to put the pork in the oven at 400 degrees for a short time, then lower to 350-375 and cook for an hour or so.
The second one says to cook for an hour at 350-375 for an hour or so, then at the very end, raise to 400. Both are to give it a crisp outside, but which one is the best? Which one gives it the juiciest meat on the inside?
post #2 of 4

I favor the start low, finish high approach. But with char siu pork I try to do it on the grill over charcoal.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #3 of 4

The difference in oven temperature (375-400) in the two recipes is within the margin of error of most ovens. Generally, you get more crispness/crust with the high heat finish, but its very easy to burn with the high sugar content of the marinade so watch it closely. 

 

I favor a two rack approach. On a lower rack, put a large rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 an inch or so of water in it. lay the pork directly on the upper rack. This lets the char shiu cook more evenly on all sides, but the water pan minimizes mess and smoke from the drips. The upper rack will still need a good soak and scrubbing to clean up. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 4

First, make sure you get meat with a good amount of fat. When I was a kid growing up in Hong Kong, people prized the half fat/half meat variety. That is actually how people would order them at the shops.

 

I use pork belly strips with a nice amount of fatty layers in between. Instead of using the oven, I cook it on stove top. You can still finish it in the oven or the grill at the end to get the nice charring. I use the recipe on Food Canon (http://www.foodcanon.com/) and it's not failed me. He has several recipes on there, including different cuts of pork as well as different methods. I just stick with the simple Auntie Ruby's recipe. I thought the seasoning was a little strange at first (quite a lot of white pepper), but try it once before you tweak. To my surprise, I never had to tweak.

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