Chinese BBQ Pork From Scratch | NO HOISIN OR CHARSIU SAUCE #video

For some reason, my skin doesn’t do well with store-bought chinese bbq pork also known as char siu. Most char siu recipes use chinese sauces, such as hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, char siu sauce and dark soy sauce. These sauces often contain wheat, MSG and processed sugars. Hence, I was determined to make a char siu that doesn’t use these sauces.

Watch the video – its easy!


For the marinade:

  • 20g gluten-free red miso paste [~1 flat tbsp]
  • 12g peeled & sliced ginger [~8-10 slices]
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp maple syrup*
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp Hungarian paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp white ground pepper
  • 250mL water
  • 1 stick cassia cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 5 cloves

*2 tbsps of maple syrup to be added as a last step to adjust the sweetness. If added at the beginning, may end up requiring more.

For the BBQ Pork:

  • 500g boneless pork collar butt or pork shoulder
  • 375mL water


  1. In a small pot, add 1/2 tsp avocado oil over medium heat. Use a silicone brush to glaze bottom of pan.
  2. When pan is hot, add sliced ginger, cook for 1 min or until fragrant. Do not brown.
  3. Add rice wine, 250 mL water, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a low simmer, partially covered, for 20 min.
  4. After 30 mins, pour this mixture through a strainer. Set aside.
  5. In the same pot, over medium heat, add in 1/4 cup of this mixture, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 20g red miso and 2 tsp Hungarian paprika powder.
  6. Mix until all the ingredients combine.
  7. Turn off the heat. Add 2 tbsp maple syrup. This is our marinade. Let it cool and set aside.
  8. Cut the pork into 3/4 inch thick strips.
  9. Rinse the pork strips under cold water. Pat dry.
  10. Prick small holes all over the pork with a fork.
  11. Place pork strips into a bowl. Marinate it with the cooled marinade sauce made earlier.
  12. Cover with cling wrap. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Over night is better.
  13. After pork strips are marinated, place them along with its marinate and 375 mL water in a wok.
  14. Bring to a simmer. Simmer covered over medium heat for 30 mins or until the internal meat temperature reaches 165F.
  15. During this time, flip the pork strips every 10 mins.
  16. After 30 mins, continue to simmer uncovered for another 10 mins or until the sauce thickens up as shown in the video.
  17. Turn off heat. Glaze pork strips with the sauce.
  18. Place pork strips on a oven-safe baking rack over a baking tray.
  19. Pour the sauce into a small bowl.
  20. Broil pork strips for 3 mins at 500F/250C.
  21. Remove from oven. Turn pork strips to its other side, and glaze generously with sauce.
  22. Broil at 500F/250C for 3-4 mins or until edges char.
  23. Repeat steps 21 and 22 again for the original side.
  24. The Char Siu – Chinese BBQ Pork is ready! Slice them into your desired thickens. Glaze the slices with sauce, if desired.
  25. Ready to serve with steamed rice (or noodles) with your favorite vegetables.


  • The purpose of Hungarian paprika powder is to give the bbq pork its iconic red coloring. If you can’t find it, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
  • I personally don’t recommend substituting Hungarian paprika powder with regular paprika powder as the taste will change.
  • Use MSG-free red miso and soy sauce to make this truly msg-free.
  • You can freeze char siu slices using cling wrap as shown in the video – and just reheat it whenever you feel like having char siu!

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