Char Siu Chicken Recipe

Please rate Char Siu Chicken recipe

4.8 stars from 6 ratings of Char Siu Chicken

Char Siu Chicken

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What is 'Char Siu'?

In my research of the term: Char Siu, I discovered that it is similar to a favorite BBQ sauce each family has for meat like beef or pork ribs. In the Asian version of this sauce spices and other Asian ingredients make it unique. Because I cook a variety of food I had most of the ingredients already in my kitchen. I bought fresh ginger and was ready to make the marinade.

This sauce is most commonly applied to pork strips and then hung in the windows enticing onlookers to enter and purchase the flavorful meat. It is also used on chicken, which is the dish I made. I found that it was easy to make and an interesting variation from bottled BBQ sauce.

Char Siu translates as: 'fork roast', derived from the way the meat was originally roasted over an open fire on long forks. Now the words are more indicative to the actual sauce that is applied to the meat. You may also see it spelled 'cha siu', 'chasu', 'chashao', or 'char siew'. It is one and the same.

In most Asian restaurants the recipe includes a red food coloring or red bean paste to make the meat turn a rosy or deep red. I did not include either of those ingredients in the recipe I used.

Notes on Preparation:

Although it is easy to blend the sauce and pour it over the meat, the prep time is increased by the amount of time the meat is marinaded. I marinaded the chicken for 12 hours, but if you have the luxury of an overnight marinade, that would enhance the flavor. I recommend no less than three hours to marinade the meat in the sauce.

Cook Time

Prep time: 6 hours 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 6 hours 45 min
Yields: 4-8

Notes on: Ingredients

There are many recipes for this dish, some used garlic instead of ginger; some used both. Some added salt and sugar, omitting the honey. Some recipes used a black bean paste of two teaspoons to one tablespoon. I could not find it, so I did not add it to my recipe. Follow your instincts of what you and your family would enjoy or know what is best for you dietetically.

Char Siu Chicken marinade
Char Siu Chicken marinade | Source

Doubling the ingredients

The recipe printed here is for 4 pieces of chicken. If doubling the amount of chicken be sure to also double the marinade sauce.

Ingredients

  • 6 T Hoisin sauce
  • 6 T Soy sauce, regular or low sodium
  • 4 T sweet rice wine OR sweet sherry, I used cooking sherry for mine
  • 4 T honey
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 pieces chicken, thighs

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a double boiler and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. While ingredients simmer, remove the skin off of the chicken and place in a casserole dish.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for the designated time you've allotted.
  4. Periodically turn the chicken over in the marinade.
  5. When marinade process is complete, cook in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.
  6. After removing from the oven, and while still hot, brush with more honey. Serve.

Cook's final notes:

This recipe can be very simple to put together as long as you have the ingredients on hand. I used fresh ginger, however, I did not mince it, I sliced it and placed them over the chicken when the marinade had been poured over the pieces.

Typically, the recipe calls for chicken thighs. The taste is delicious and different from a typical American BBQ sauce. I liked the way the Chinese 5 Spice blend was detected, along with the Hoisin and soy sauce. It had a nice blend of sweet and spice. The sauce creates a nice crisp covering and color for the meat when it finished. I hope you enjoy trying this dish.

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Comments 35 comments

missolive profile image

missolive 3 years ago from Texas

My husband and son are beef eaters and my daughter and I LOVE chicken...especially in chinese or Asian dishes. This recipe really seems easy and delicious. I'll have to give this marinade a try while she is home from college. The blend of honey and ginger sounds wonderful. I'm totally craving chinese food now! Voted up and YUM!


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 3 years ago from Chennai, India

An interesting recipe! I am fond of both chicken dishes and Chinese cuisine. This is one recipe that I would like to try. I or my mother marinade chicken and seafood and kept them aside for more than 12 hours. Thus they become flavorsome and succulent. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up, pinned & shared


NMLady profile image

NMLady 3 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

Sounds good. Always looking for new and flavorful ways to serve chicken.


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

Sounds delicious and have totally pinned to try. Thanks seriously for sharing and have also voted up and tweeted, too!


aykianink profile image

aykianink 3 years ago

How frustrating. I'm 100% sure I'm following you, but I didn't get a notice on you having written this.

On another note: "4 T honey" This is interesting. Didn't realize honey was put into it, but that makes sense. Thumbs up on the hub:-)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

This looks delicious and I love Asian dishes, I think the honey and ginger. A sweet bite for the tongue. Thanks!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Missolive-if you enjoy Chinese food, I'm sure you will enjoy this. I'm looking forward to making it again, soon. The interesting thing is that I never buy a pkg of thighs alone, which I did for this recipe-in fact, I bought two. I usually stick to the white meat-the chicken breast. This is a great recipe using the thighs and so much cheaper. Good luck.

Hi ishwaryaa22-thanks for your feedback; I hope you enjoy this recipe. I appreciate your votes and share. :) Happy New Year.

Hello NMlady-it is delicious, and I usually don't eat thigh meat. But, like you, I am always willing to try a new recipe that sounds appealing.

Hi Janine-thanks for sharing and the votes. I appreciate them. :)

aykianink-I know the frustration, a couple other folks have mentioned the same thing, and I have also experienced that with some hubbers. I'm glad you caught it. Have you eaten this or made this before? It appears that you are familiar with it? Some recipes use sugar instead of honey, but I prefer honey, so this recipe appealed to me.

Yes, Jackie-you said it well, "a sweet bit for the tongue". Thanks for visiting and leaving your feedback. :) I hope you give it a try.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Rated it a 5 but it should be a 10 thanks for making it look easy :)


gypsumgirl profile image

gypsumgirl 3 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

Thank you for the recipe! I have eaten char siu pork all my life but never really thought about applying the same to chicken. I am looking forward to checking this out!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Loved this! Not only did i find a new recipe that looks amazing - i learned something as well! Thanks for that..

Chicken is my fav - and i'm always looking for new ways to prepare it..

I saw a hub of yours in the 'feed' this morning Denise - and i realized that i missed you and that we hadn't chatted in a bit!

Hoping your Christmas was everything you hoped it would be and that 2013 is even better! Health and happiness, my friend - nothing else matters!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Frank-Happy New Year. It is delicious and very simple once the right ingredients are on board. Thanks for the 5 star rating. :)

gypsumgirl-thanks for your input. It is amazing how simply changing the entrée can create another enjoyable meal. I hope you give it a try.

Hi Leslie-what a lovely comment. You're right, we haven't chatted and I'm curious when you'll be traveling to FL? Thanks for the New Year wishes. My best to you as well. Ring out the old, ring in the new! Hugs.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Mmm oh yes Denise a definite for that recipe book of mine. Eddy.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks, Eddy. Happy New Year to you and yours. Add on, girl!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Love Char Siu, though it is sweet. A staple here in Singapore....and usually eaten with Siu Yuk, another roast pork. Thanks for sharing!! Passing the recipe on.


aykianink profile image

aykianink 3 years ago

"Have you eaten this or made this before? It appears that you are familiar with it? Some recipes use sugar instead of honey, but I prefer honey, so this recipe appealed to me." I've eaten chunks of it before. Especially good with noodles:-)

Have never had the honey version. Though now I'm curious. Hm...


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi midget-I really appreciate your feedback on this hub, since you're obviously more familiar with it than I. It was my first attempt and taste and I can hardly wait to cook it up again! Thanks for the share. :)

Hello aykianink-Noodles, eh? I prefer rice. :) I hope you do try the honey version...I'm not sure it is as sweet as the sugar version. Let me know.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

We've tasted the Asian chicken that is dyed red but I agree--at home I wouldn't use the red color. Being from the Midwest, we love BBQ of any style! I've marked this to try because I have all the ingredients in the pantry and we eat chicken often. It sounds delicious. I'm going to try the overnight marination. I enjoyed your final notes, too. Thanks so much! Voted up and shared.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for your feedback, Vespa. My girlfriend, who is Chinese, just sent a Christmas card update. Turns out her niece went to France to study cooking and opened a restaurant that she and her mom run. I'm intrigued, thrilled for them, and envious all at the same time! Thanks for the vote/share. BTW When are you planning a trip to the U.S.?


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

Sounds really delicious. Now I've found a new way (and a new flavor) to cook chicken. Thanks for posting. :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

Right now we're in the process of moving to a bigger city, so we've postponed it until August or September. I guess that's still quite a while, but the months will go by quickly. How exciting for your girlfriend's niece! I hope you have a chance to visit them someday. : )


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

You are very welcome, iguidenetwork. I love getting new recipe ideas or trying old ones in a new way. :)

Hi Vespa-I'm not sure about the visit...they live in Nova Scotia! Glad to hear you are keeping your travel plans. Where will you be visiting? I'm hoping to move to Michigan by September. My nephew will be graduated by then and off to college so 'mama auntie' won't be needed.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

I'm happy you're moving to Michigan by September. I know that's where your heart is. When we go back to the States we usually visit Seattle, Kansas City, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Charleston and sometimes New York. We have lots of family and friends to catch up with since we don't travel every year.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Yes, you know that's right! I just spent two weeks over the holidays and it still did not seem to be long enough! I'm sure your relatives are looking forward to your visit as well. :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Oh I can't wait to try this recipe. All I need is some fresh ginger and the chicken thighs. I have everything else in my pantry. It sounds delicious! Thanks for giving us this recipe. Up votes and will share.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Peggy-hope you and hubby enjoy this. I don't usually buy just a pkg of thighs, but this recipe gave me the excuse to make a delicious dish for a few dollars!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

This looks so mouth-watering! I don't do a lot of Chinese style cooking, but I know that my family and I would love this chicken. Will have to give it a try soon... or maybe I could get you to make it for me? :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Stephanie-this is really such a simple recipe...the longest part is marinating it. I'd be happy to make it for you, lol.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Denise, great recipe and I am definitely going to give this a try, I love Char Sui but have only ever had it with pork and I have never made it myself. Will let you know how I get on!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Julie-I've heard from so many people that they have had this with pork, not chicken. Please do let me know how you liked it...it isn't hard to make and is delicious! Thanks for stopping by.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

I am going out for my 50th birthday tonight Denise for Chinese food...and this will be on the menu, yummy!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

How lucky for you, Julia. I'm hoping to hear from you re: how you enjoyed it.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

The chicken looks delicious, Denise. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Voted up, interesting and rated 5 stars. Shared as well.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for the votes, rating and share, Rajan. It is a very tasty dish!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Char Siu Chicken Recipe I prefer chicken to any other meal and this recipe with honey is such a treat.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

This one is sooo good. I would make this one many times Great flavors here. Thanks for reading.

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