Kwoklyn Wan grew up in the kitchens of Chinese takeaways and restaurants with his brother Gok, now a style guru. Kwoklyn’s Chinese Takeaway Cookbook is the holy grail of trade-secret recipes, so you can create your favourite Chinese takeaway and Cantonese restaurant dishes.
In Hong Kong, char siu is usually purchased from a Siu Mei establishment, which specialises in meat dishes - char siu (BBQ pork), soy-sauce chicken, roast goose, crispy belly pork. These shops usually display their merchandise by hanging them in the window and, as a result, char siu is often eaten with one of these other meat dishes in a 'rice box' meal.
Prep: 2 hours.
Marinade: 2+ hours. Cooking: 1 hour. Serves 4
800g (1lb 12oz) pork shoulder or loin
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
2 slices of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp yellow bean sauce
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp white sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp honey, plus 2 tbsp mixed with 2 tbsp hot water for glazing
1. Put the pork into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients (except the honey-water glaze) and massage the ingredients into the pork.
2. Cover, transfer to the fridge and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. The next day, remove the pork from the fridge and allow to come back up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
4. Sit the pork on a baking tray (reserving the marinade separately), cover in foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn and baste with marinade, then cook for a further 10 minutes, covered. Check the pork is cooked by inserting a skewer to ensure the juices run clear. Baste the pork with the marinade for a second time and return to the oven to cook, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes. You want the pork to be a deep amber colour and the marinade should be sticky and dry.
5. Remove the pork from the oven and brush with the honey and water mixture to glaze, then flash under the grill for 2-3 minutes or until the edges have scorched. Leave the pork to cool to room temperature, then slice and serve.
Extracted from The Chinese Takeaway Cookbook by Kwoklyn Wan (Quadrille £15) Photography: Sam Folan