cook\'s illustrated char siu (chinese bbq pork)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 tbsp hoisin sauce
preferably Kikkoman brand
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
minced or pressed through a garlic press, about 2 teaspoons
2 tbsp ginger
4 lbs pork butt
boneless, cut into 8 strips, excess fat removed
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey
Need an impressive and tasty protein that scales well enough to make for a party? This Cook's Illustrated recipe for Chinese barbeque pork (char siu) is a perfect option. Char siu can be eaten with rice, in sandwiches, and can top soups. We often accompany it with curried carrot salad. This was the first Asian Cook's Illustrated recipe we have ever made. We were so impressed with the results that we eagerly cook any other Asian recipes they publish. Adapted from the March-April 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated.
Combine the sugar, soy sauce, hoisin, sherry, pepper, five-spice powder, and sesame oil in a medium bowl or measuring glass.
Press the garlic and grate the ginger. Mix it into the marinade, then transfer 1/2 cup of the marinade into a small sauce pan.
Prick the pork 10-12 times on each side with a fork. Place the pork in a large plastic zip-lock bag, pour the remaining marinade into the bag, then remove excess air and seal. Marinate the pork in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the rimmed baking sheet with foil and set the wire rack on the cookie sheet.
Transfer the pork from the marinade onto the wire rack. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil, and crimp for a tight seal. Cook the pork for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and cook the pork until its edges start to brown, about 40-45 minutes.
For the glaze, combine the reserved marinade with the ketchup and honey. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until it reduces down to about 1 cup.
Turn on the broiler. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the pork with half of the glaze. Broil the pork to a deep mahogany color, about 3-5 minutes.
Flip the meat and broil until the other side caramelizes, about 7-9 minutes. Brush the meat with the remaining glaze and continue to broil until the second side is deep mahogany.
Cool for 10 minutes, then cut into thin strips.