1 lb/500g Pork shoulder, sliced 2" thick
1 cup Water
6 Scallion stalks
3 tbsp Garlic (minced)
1 Onion (diced)
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup Honey
1 tbsp Five-spice powder
1 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Estimated values based on one serving size.|
Combine the diced onion, garlic, ketchup, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, five-spice, sugar and oil into a large mixing bowl
Add the pork shoulder to the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour
Pour 1 cup of water into the Ninja Foodi inner pot and add in the scallion stalks
Place the marinated pork into the inner pot on the reversible rack set in low position
Place the pressure lid and set the release valve to "SEAL"
Pressure cook on HIGH for 35 minutes
Flip the release valve to "VENT" to manually release pressure
Remove the pork and place it back into the remaining marinade
Add 1 cup of sugar onto a plate and sugarcoat the pork by dipping both sides into the sugar
Line the bottom of the inner pot with foil to prevent excessive smoking from any marinade that falls to the bottom of the pot
Layer the pork in the Cook & Crisp Basket using the Cook & Crisp insert rack
Bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.
Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu)
If you love tender, juicy and sweet Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) you'll love this recipe. It's easy to make at home and you don't need a BBQ or grill. Using the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Duo Crisp to pressure cook the pork helps to keep it tender and juicy. After cooking the pork shoulder and submerging in another round of sweet marinade, a quick roast locks in all the delicious flavor and caramelizes the exterior. Not only is it simple to make this sweet and savory dish, but using a one-pot device like the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot makes for quick cooking times and best of all - easy cleanup!
What type of pork is best for Chinese BBQ Pork?
We used pork shoulder in this recipe however you can also use pork butt which has a similar fat content. Fatty cuts of pork are best to use when making Chinese BBQ pork since they cook slower keeping the meat moist and juicy while the sauce caramelizes on the outside. You can use pork tenderloin however since this is a leaner cut, you need to be careful not to overcook it or it will be too dry. On the other hand, pork belly can be used but as this is a fattier cut it will result in a BBQ pork that is tender but will also be more oily.
How long should you marinate Chinese BBQ Pork?
Regardless of the type of cut you use, marination is the key to infusing all that delicious flavor into the BBQ pork. Marinate the pork for at least 1 hour before cooking. The longer you marinate the meat, the more flavorful it will taste. In fact, while 1 hour is the minimum time for marinating the pork, an optimal range for marination is anywhere between 1-8 hours in the fridge.
What's in a good Chinese BBQ Pork Marinade?
This recipe uses simple yet flavorful ingredients to infuse the delicious sweet and savory taste iconic to Chinese BBQ pork. The secret is all in the marinade. Standard aromatics like onion and garlic give the BBQ pork that savory flavor, while sugar, honey, hoisin, soy sauce, and salt give it that contrasting sweet/salty taste we all know and love. Five-spice powder adds a contrasting combination of seasonings and ketchup helps to add sweetness as well as the red color.
What is in Five-Spice Powder?
Five Spice is an Asian spice consisting of a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. It can be found in any local Asian supermarket however if you don't have five-spice powder you can make it at home by mixing equal parts of fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns or together and grinding them into a powder
What Makes Chinese BBQ Pork Red?
One of the most characteristic features of Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) is its glistening exterior red color. The sweet sauce is a combination of caramelized sugar, honey, and hoisin but what makes it appear red? Traditionally Chinese BBQ pork is made using either red food coloring or fermented red bean curd paste giving its outward red appearance. Fermented red bean curd paste can also be found in a local Asian supermarket however this item may not be as easily attainable. While providing the appearance of the exterior red color, red food coloring doesn't really add any additional flavors to the pork. In this recipe we use ketchup in the marinade for dual purposes: it not only gives the Chinese BBQ Pork its characteristic red exterior, but it also provides added sweetness to the caramelized sauce. Not to mention it's also readily available in any supermarket and a simple and standard ingredient that most people have.
What can Chinese BBQ Pork be used for?
A really good Chinese BBQ pork has a nice depth of flavor with a combination of sweet and savory. The delicious meat can be eaten on its own and is traditionally served over a simple mound of white rice with some Chinese greens.
It's also a very versatile meat and can be used in a wide variety of dishes calling for pork. It can be diced and used to make Chinese steamed BBQ pork buns (char siu bao), or as a component in fried rice, chow mein noodles or simply sliced and eaten in a Chinese noodle soup. What's also great about this recipe is you can make a large batch and freeze any leftovers to be used later in a wide variety of dishes.
Can I make Chinese BBQ Pork if I don't have a Ninja Foodi?
We made this Chinese BBQ Pork recipe using the Ninja Foodi as it's a one-pot cooking device that can pressure cook the meat and also bake the exterior to give it a nice crispy caramelization. If you don't have a Ninja Foodi, you can also use an Instant Pot Duo Crisp or any Instant Pot that also has a compatible air fryer lid.
If you don't have an air fry lid you can still use your pressure cooker to cook and tenderize the meat, and then finish it in the oven on a baking rack over top a foil-lined sheet pan at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.
If you don't have a pressure cooker or prefer to make this recipe using a conventional oven, marinate the pork according to the directions and place it on a baking rack over top a foil-lined sheet pan. Bake it in the oven at 275ºF for 45 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature fo 165ºF. Caramelize the exterior by baking it at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.
- You can use different cuts of pork if you don't have pork shoulder/butt. For leaner cuts use pork tenderloin and for fattier cuts use pork belly
- Marinate the pork anywhere between 1-8 hours - the longer it marinates the more flavorful it will be however it should marinate for at least 1 hour
- If you don't have five-spice powder you can make it by mixing equal parts of fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns together and grinding them into a powder
- Pro tip: Line the bottom of the Ninja Foodi pot with foil when baking the pork-It help prevent any dripping sugar from the marinade from burning on the bottom of the pot and also makes clean-up a lot easier
- This recipe was made using the Ninja Foodi, a programmable multi-use pressure cooker that can also steam, saute, slow cook, dehydrate, bake, broil, roast and air crisp
- When baking the pork, use the Cook & Crisp Basket along with the Cook & Crisp Insert Rack from the Ninja Foodi Pro Accessory Bundle to help layer the pork if more cooking space is needed
- You can also make this recipe with an Instant Pot Duo Crisp, a multi-use programmable cooker that can pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steam, sous vide, air fry, roast, bake, broil and dehydrate.
- If you don't have the Bake function, you could also make this recipe with an Instant Pot Duo, a multi-use programmable cooker that can pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steam, warm and also make yogurt and rice. Marinate and pressure cook the meat as indicated in the directions, then place the pork on a foil-lined baking sheet and finish it in the oven at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.
- If you prefer to use the oven, marinate the pork according to the directions and place it on a baking rack over top a sheet pan. Bake it in the oven at 275ºF for 45 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature fo 165ºF. Caramelize the exterior by baking it at 400ºF for 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.