THE best char siu I’ve ever eaten is definitely in Penang. The stall which sells char siu rice is just a stone throw away from my granny’s house. It is in a corner kopitiam below Sky Hotel along Chulia Street. They have been selling there for many many years and it is always packed. During lunch hours, getting a table is no easy task and you will have to wait for a long time before being served. Well, the wait is worth it, this is the price to pay for good food!
When I have cravings for char siew, I immediately think of this very particular char siu stall. The other day, instead of just thinking about the char siu, I decided to get my hands dirty and made me us some char siu.
Making char siu is all about getting the marinade right just like siu yuk. For my char siu, I used pork shoulder (twee bak) – not as fat as pork belly and not as lean as pork loin, just the right amount of fats to make it really tender and juicy. If diet is not your main concern, pork belly is a good alternative.
This was my second time making char siu and it was so much better than the first. My virgin attempt was quite good but I have to improve on the flavour and it was not caramelised enough. On my second attempt, I left the meat to marinate overnight and I twitched the methods a little hoping to get better results. I braised, roasted, basted and grilled. Ok, not a little but the hard work certainly paid off. The meat was caramelized, flavorful and tender.
Our dinner that night was just char siu and plain rice. No other side dishes :). There’s no denying that it was absolutely lip-smacking!!
*Recipe to be updated soon. Look out for it 🙂