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Vietnamese BBQ Pork/Char Siu (Thit Xa Xiu) Recipe

Updated on March 25, 2013
Thit Xa Xiu
Thit Xa Xiu | Source

Thit Xa Xiu

Char siu pork which literally means fork roasted pork originated from southeastern China. It is now a favorite all over Asia. It describes the method of hanging strips of marinated pork on skewers and roasting them in an oven or over an open fire. Char siu is Cantonese for roasted pork, Cha Shao in Mandarin or Thit Xa Xiu in Vietnamese. Come along the way from China, Thit Xa Xiu is an important Chinese influence in Vietnamese cuisine. It can be enjoy with Xoi (sticky rice), plain steamed rice, noodle soup, lo mein, fried rice, stir-fry dishes, bao (steamed bun, salad and other countless dishes.

You may see roasted pork in many if not in all Asian restaurants, most probably red due to food dye to attract customers' attention. The dye may not be anymore harmful than those in M&Ms or jellybeans but we never really know what happens in the kitchen. So if you want to be sure that no coloring ever gets into your Chinese style roasted pork, the best solution would be to prepare yours at home. I prefer Thit Xa Xiu since I am familiar with it.

Here's how to fix Thit Xa Xiu at home. This recipe omit red dye food coloring but resulting moist and flavorful Asian style BBQ pork. It could not so eye cathcing compare to store or restaurant bought Thit Xa Xiu but I can guarantee this is the best one. If you prefer little bit red color then you can add 4 -5 tbsp tomato sauce to this recipe.


What You Need

2 1/2 lbs boneless pork sholder, well trimmed


3 tsp sesame oil

1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 1/2 tbps ligh soy sauce

2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tsp Chinese five spice powder

2 tbsp sugar

How to Fix

  • Cut pork into strips about 2 inches thick and about 6 inches long.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine sesame oil, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, honey, hoisin sauce, five spice powder and sugar. Then add pork slices and stir it well to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrat and put in the fridge for 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Occasionally, turn the pork to make sure it is coated well with marinade.
  • One hour before roasting, remove the the pork from the fridge. Preheat oven to 475 F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven. Put a roasting rack on the aluminum foil-lined baking sheets. Place and arrange pork slices on the rack. Leave about 1 inch space among them. Do not discard the marinade since we are going to use it for basting.
  • Roast the pork slices for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes, use tongs to pick up each pork slices then dip and rol it int the marinade. Return them to the rack and turn the pork slices over each time. When the pork is slightly charred, glazed and read at 145 F, they are done. Remove from the oven. Rest them about 10 minutes to seal the juice.
  • Slice the pork across the grain. Put them on serving platter. Serve it warm or room temperature. Too freeze, wrap tighly in plastic wrap and throm into the freezer. It can be freeze up to 3 months. To serve, reheat them in microwave oven.

How to Make Car Siu/Thit Xa Xiu


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    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks. Pork is yummy.

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      Let know if you like it. Thanks for visiting

    • Ana Teixeira profile image

      Ana Teixeira 5 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

      this made me hungry! xD I'm portuguese and we have a lot of ways of cooking pork and this actually is very similar to one of them which I loooveeee! OMG. It's 23h44 here and I'm hungry now! xD

    • s.wilson profile image

      s.wilson 5 years ago

      That looks wonderful! I will have to print this out and try it this weekend!

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      Thank you. Let me know if you like it:)

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      You are welcome

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks. I hope you will try it.

    • wonderingwoolley profile image

      wonderingwoolley 5 years ago from Madison, WI

      This looks super tasty. I'm a little intimidated by all the steps, but it looks so good I'm not sure I can resist. Thanks so much!

    • kgala0405 profile image

      Kevin Galarneau 5 years ago from Michigan

      This looks amazing, and its easy to make. I'm going to have to try this one. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Handicapped Chef profile image

      Handicapped Chef 5 years ago from Radcliff Ky