Recipe: Food + Beer – Ross Dobson's Char Sui »

Enjoy Chinese barbecue pork at home

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Char Sui Pork  recipe from Food and Beer by Ross Dobson

Char Sui Pork recipe from Food and Beer by Ross Dobson


Food + Beer: great food to eat with beer gives you over 80 relaxed, authentic international dishes, specially selected for how their flavours are enhanced by particular beers.

Ross Dobson believes that Food + Beer = Happiness and who are we to argue with such sense? Grab your Asian pale or light lager and get thee to the kitchen to whip up some happiness of your own.


Char Sui (Chinese BBQ Pork)

I wondered about the authenticity of this recipe and how tomato sauce fits into the equation, but tomato sauce is indeed used as an alternative to red food colour in many Cantonese cookery books from the 1960s. At a pop-up Sunday yum cha I did, this item was the most popular. At yum cha, dumplings dominate the menu, or rather trollies, but don't overlook the plates of Chinese meats (duck, pork and chicken). Such delicious foods scream for a palate-cleansing, cold Asian pale or light lager.


  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) pork scotch fillet
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • small coriander (cilantro) sprigs to garnish
  • steamed rice and Asian greens to serve

Barbecue sauce

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) tomato sauce
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) plum sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 220 g (8 oz/1 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper


Cut the pork lengthways into long, sausage-like fillets about 5 cm (2 inches) thick, then place in a bowl. Stir together all the barbecue sauce ingredients to dissolve the sugar, then pour over the pork. Rub the sauce into the pork, coating the meat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 3-6 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay the pork on the baking tray, reserving the barbecue sauce for basting.

Roast the pork for 20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to char. Turn and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160°C (315°F) and roast for a further 2 hours, brushing with the reserved sauce and turning every 20 minutes, until the pork is very tender and deep red. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine and sugar in a bowl. Pour in 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Slice the pork on a serving platter. Drizzle with some of the soy sauce mixture and garnish with coriander. Serve with steamed rice and Asian greens.

This recipe is kindly reproduced with the permission of the publisher.

Food + Beer: great food to eat with beer by Ross Dobson is published by Murdoch Books (Sydney, NSW, Sept 2015; HB 240pp, RRP A$45.00). It is available in all good bookshops or direct from the publisher »

Read our review of Food + Beer »

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August 20th, 2015
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