A great thing about being a stay-at-home mom is that there is little need to care for appearance. I rarely see anyone except for my kids and husband. A regular day is pajama pants and husband's over-sized T-shirt. A fancy day is sweat pants and a semi-clean, fitted shirt. My sister came to visit other night. She commented on my hair. I couldn't recall if I combed my hair that day.
My appearance has taken a backseat because most of the time, I'm in the kitchen. I've been doing a lot of cooking and practicing new recipes. One dish I've been trying to perfect is Vietnamese Barbecue Pork, Thịt Xá Xíu in Vietnamese or Char Siu in Cantonese.
After doing a lot of research and asking those in the business, I found out that the key ingredient in authentic Vietnamese/Chinese Barbecue Pork is fermented red bean curd. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? This key ingredient helps to achieve the reddish color and provides a distinct flavor. I have tried many recipes and the final recipe below is a combination of all those recipes with my own tweakings. Vietnamese/Chinese BBQ Pork is great when served with white rice or a warm baguette. Enjoy!
Recipe for Vietnamese/Chinese BBQ Pork (Thịt Xá Xíu/Char Siu)
- 3.5 lb pork shoulder/butt; cut into long strips
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/3 cup fermented red bean curd
- 1 teaspoon Five Spice powder
- 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
- 2 garlic cloves; minced
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
- Combine salt, sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, bean curd, Five Spice powder, Hoisin sauce, garlic, and red food coloring in a bowl.
- Slather mixture evenly on the pork and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is best.
- On a wired rack, bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- Flip the pork over and bake for another 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, slice the pork and serve with white rice or baguette.