Hong Kong is famous for their Cantonese roasted meat (Siu Mei 燒味). BBQ pork, roasted goose, roasted duck, roasted pig, roasted suckling pig, soy sauce chicken and a few more. These are all classic. People like buying these roasted meats to-go, either eating as main dish with rice or as a side dish for dinner.
When we visited Hong Kong in February, we had a plate of BBQ pork over rice. It was really delicious and perfect. It also reminded me of my high school days. Whenever there was a school vacation day, I would be home alone. Lunch was something I really looked forward to, because I could eat whatever I wanted. One of the things I liked to eat was BBQ pork over rice. The restaurant near my home made pretty good BBQ pork. They sold a BBQ pork combo, which included a handful of BBQ pork, steamed rice, 2 pieces of choy sum (vegetable) and a can of soda. It was very simple, but comforting.
Back in the States, Bryan tells me that he misses the BBQ pork every other day. I started to crave for BBQ pork too. Since it is not easy to get BBQ pork in where I live, I know I have to try making some myself.
To make BBQ pork, there are a few special ingredients that you will need. First, it is a piece of pork with a good balance ratio of fat and lean meat. Pork butt (梅頭) is the best choice. Don’t worry! Pork butt is not the meat from the butt. It is actually meat from upper part of the shoulder from a front leg. In the US, people like to use this cut of meat to make pulled pork. You can get this in butcher department in most supermarkets. Then, there is maltose. Maltose is a type of sugar. It is like a very-thick syrup that can hold its shape for a bit. Next, it is Hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It is sweet and savory. It is made with soy, red chiles, garlic, vinegar and sugar. The last thing is Chinese rose wine. It is fragrant and strong. All maltose, hoisin sauce and rose wine can be bought from Chinese supermarkets or some Asian supermarkets.
It looks like making BBQ pork is troublesome, but I promise it is totally worth it. The pork was juicy and tender. It was slightly charred and sweet. With the sweet and savory soy sauce and hot steamed rice, the meal was just what we wanted. I have already made this twice in 3 weeks. Hope you will enjoy this classic Hong Kong dish too! Just remember the pork needs to be marinated 24 hours ahead.
Cantonese Style BBQ Pork over Rice (Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
– 1 pound pork butt
– 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 2 cups hot cooked rice
– 3 tablespoons maltose
– 3 tablespoons honey
– 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
– 3 tablespoons soy sauce
– ¾ tablespoon Chinese rose wine
– 6 dashes ground white pepper
– 6 drops red food coloring (optional)
– 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
– 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Sweet Soy Sauce:
– 2 pieces of sliced ginger (peeled and smashed) (optional)
– 1 green onion (cut into 1-inch long) (optional)
– 1 clove garlic (peeled and smashed) (optional)
– 1 small shallot (cut into 3 pieces) (optional)
– 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
– 1½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
– 1½ tablespoons sugar
– ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
– 4 tablespoons water
– ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- In a small saucepan, combine all BBQ sauce ingredients. Heat it up over medium heat. Stir and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- For the pork, trim off some the fat if needed, but don’t trim it all. Cut the pork into 4 (¾-inch thick) pieces. Place them flat in a deep-dish plate.
- Marinate the pork with ½ of BBQ sauce and chopped garlic. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Transfer the leftover BBQ sauce in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon honey. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.
- 24 hours later, preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- For the sweet soy sauce, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and water.
- In a small pan over medium-high heat, heat the pan and add the vegetable oil. Add the ginger, green onion, garlic, and shallot if using. Cook until golden brown. Turn the heat to medium. Add the soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Remove the ginger, green onion, garlic and shallot. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Turn off the heat.
- Back to the pork, wipe most of the sauce and garlic off with your hand. Place the pork on the prepared baking sheet. Baked in the oven for 5 minutes. Brush the pork with a layer of BBQ sauce (the one in the fridge). Continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Brush the pork once more with the BBQ sauce. Turn the heat up to 425˚F (220˚C) and cook for another 10 – 14 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and rest for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the hot rice on 2 servings plates. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce over each plate of rice.
- Slice the pork into ¼ – ½-inch thick. Place over rice and serve immediately. Transfer the leftover sweet soy sauce to a small bowl and serve along with the dish.
- Pork butt usually comes in 2 – 3 pounds. Cut it in half or third. Use 1 part and freeze the rest for next time.
- Maltose is super thick, it may not be able to scoop or pour. To take the syrup out of the jar, I used a pair of wood chopsticks (a metal spoon should work too). Keep both chopsticks together and stab into the maltose. Scoop and pull up high. The maltose can stand on its own at this point. Roll and collect. Roughly measure about 3 tablespoons of maltose. Place the maltose along with the chopsticks in the small saucepan. During the heating process, the maltose will melt and the chopsticks can be removed at that point.
- For the sweet soy sauce, the ginger, green onion, garlic and shallot give the sauce more flavor and fragrant, but it is not necessary.