Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 25th June, 2017 and receive a Laguiole cheese knife set!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Pea and ham soup

Tarta de Santiago

"Gordita makes a splendid version of the Galician almond cake Tarta de Santiago, with its dramatic design. Would you please publish the recipe?" Michael MacDermott, Taringa, Qld REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Event: Bacon Week

A celebration of one of our favourite breakfast foods.

Coffee culture: A history

Australia’s love affair with coffee is stronger than ever; it’s become a way of life. But exactly how did a beverage manage to shape our country’s culture?

Curry recipes

When you're in need of rejuvenation, there's nothing better than a warming bowl of curry, whether it's gently spiced potato and egg, a punchy Jamaican goat number or an elaborate Burmese fish curry. Here are our favourite recipes.

Bread and butter pudding

Just what you need on a cold winter's night; a bowl of luscious pudding. Make sure to leave room for seconds.

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Autumn's most popular recipes 2017

As the weather started to cool down, your stoves were heating up with spicy curries, hearty breakfast dishes and comforting bowls of pasta. You balanced things out nicely with some greens but dessert wasn't entirely forgotten. Counting down from 30, here are your 2017 autumn favourites.

Char siu


You'll need

500 gm pork neck or shoulder 160 gm (½ cup) hoisin sauce 120 gm (1/3 cup) honey 2 tbsp each light soy sauce and Shaoxing wine 1 tbsp red fermented bean curd (see note) ½ tsp five-spice powder Few drops of red food colouring (optional) Large pinch of white pepper

Method

  • 01
  • Cut pork lengthways into long 2cm-thick pieces and spike several times with a knife.
  • 02
  • Mash red fermented bean curd and combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  • 03
  • Place pork and marinade in a large Ziploc bag and marinate in fridge for at least 2 days.
  • 04
  • Transfer marinade to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened (5-10 minutes).
  • 05
  • Heat a woodfire barbecue or coal barbecue scattered with woodchips to low-medium heat. Cook pork, turning and basting occasionally with marinade, until cooked through and glazed (1-1½ hours).
  • 06
  • Alternatively, preheat oven to 200C. Place pork on a wire rack placed over an oven tray and roast, basting occasionally with marinade, until cooked through and glazed (1 hour). Thickly slice and serve.

Note You'll need to begin this recipe at least two days ahead. Red fermented bean curd is available from Asian grocers.


Keep napkins close at hand: Lisa Featherby's recipe for Cantonese barbecue pork is finger-licking good.

Char siu, the smoky red-glazed pork dripping with sticky caramelised juices that's commonly seen hanging in the windows of Chinese barbecue shops, is one of the most popular Cantonese dishes. Its Cantonese name - "char" meaning to fork or spike and "siu" meaning to roast or grill - is widely used to describe the pork dish, but in fact it can be applied to any meat. Its English name, barbecue pork, is somewhat misleading, because the product is in fact most commonly prepared by roasting.

The Chinese restaurant kitchen is divided into various areas of specialty, each with its own master chef, and all char siu dishes come under the domain of the siu mei, or Chinese roast master. (The siu mei works alongside the wok master, the yum cha master and the noodle specialists, says GT's Chinese cooking expert, Tony Tan.) But you don't need to be a siu mei to make your own char siu at home.

To start, you need a good cut of pork. The well-muscled and flavoursome neck or shoulder cuts work best here, because these pieces are neither too fatty nor too lean. That is, they have enough fat to prevent them from drying out, yet they're less fatty than pork belly, which can be too rich in this dish.

The ingredients of the char siu marinade differ "from chef to chef, or cook to cook, and are guarded like crown jewels," says Tan, but elements common to most recipes are soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and hoisin sauce. While some chefs use maltose to get the signature glazed look, we've used honey; it does the trick just as well and its thinner consistency makes it easier to handle.

The pork's distinctive colour comes from the addition of red fermented bean curd, mashed to a paste, although most recipes also include some red food colouring or vegetable dye to enhance the hue. If you'd prefer to leave out the food colouring, go ahead - it won't affect the flavour.

For marinating the pork, it's a good idea to use a sealable plastic bag because it will allow you to expel all the air around the meat so it's completely enveloped in the marinade. The result is better flavouring per quantity of marinade.

When it comes to cooking, the more traditional method of hanging the pork over a charcoal burner or barbecue gives it a greater depth of smoky flavour - not to mention those "delectable just-burnt bits", says Tan. Chinese street vendors grill char siu over low embers to maximise the smoked effect.

Roasting in the oven (preferably a woodfired oven), however, can give excellent results too, and we've covered both cooking methods here.

The best way to cook your pork on the barbecue is, as Tan suggests, to hang it on hooks over a low-burning fire. On the other hand, you can simply place it on the grill plate of your kettle barbecue instead; a generous scattering of woodchips will give you an extra smoky flavour. In both cases a watchful eye is required and it's important to cook your meat at a low temperature, turning the pork frequently and basting it continuously, to prevent the sugar in the marinade from burning.

If you choose to oven-roast your char siu, you can afford to be slightly less vigilant: just turn and baste the pork regularly to build up the glaze as it cooks.

Once cooked, char siu is best eaten warm straight from the barbecue while it's still sticky and tender. Serve it over steamed rice or with a simple Asian-style salad. For a firmer product better suited to stir-frying, hang the pork in the refrigerator after cooking for up to two days to dry it out - if you can resist its sticky, smoky goodness for long enough, that is.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jan 2012

You might also like...

Beef cheek recipes

recipes

Pave de boeuf with Roquefort sauce and gratin dauphinoise

A culinary Tour de France

recipes

Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Saltimbocca alla Romana

recipes

Piccata di vitello

Adana kofte

recipes

Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin

Pork chops with fennel

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×