Sweet & Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu)

Sweet & Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
Author: Pups with Chopsticks

If you love sweet & sticky char siu like we do, give this recipe a go! ..and we added Korean pepper flakes for a kick, because sweet & spicy go hand in hand!


  • 2 tbsp fancy/cooking molasses (not blackstrap molasses) (can be substituted with maltose, barley malt syrup, honey)
  • 1 cube red fermented tofu (and 4tsp of the sauce, mashed together)
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 1 tsp chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tbsp chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine or sherry)
  • 1-2 tbsp Korean pepper flakes (for additional colour and spiciness) (optional)


  • 2-3 lbs pork shoulder (cut into long 3 inch thin strips)


  • 2 tbsp honey

Cutting and Marinating the Meat

  1. Cut the pork shoulder into thin 3 inch thick strips. (Cooks faster and absorbs marinade more evenly)
  2. Combine the ingredients in the marinade section into a ziplock or a big bowl and combine it with the pork.
  3. Marinate it in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preparing the Glaze

  1. Remove the meat from the marinade and let it sit for an hour in room temperature.
  2. Reserve the marinade into a small bowl (remove the garlic bits and ginger) and combine it with the honey for glazing at the end of grilling

Grilling the Pork

  1. Heat up BBQ to 325F (162C)
  2. Cook the char siu for 15 mins on one side, then flip it for another 10 mins. Check the meat thermometer. Temperature should be around 145F (62C). If it's not, keep the meat on longer until it reaches that temperature.
  3. Once it hits an internal temperature of 145F (62C), we glazed 4-5 times, flipping the meat every minute to prevent burning
  4. When the meat looks red, sticky and slightly burnt, remove it from the BBQ and let it rest for 20 mins on a plate before cutting into it.
  5. Once the meat has rested, cut it up and enjoy!! 🙂

Recipe Notes
Tip #1: Cut the pork up in long thin chunks. It cooks faster, and you get more surface area for sauce.
Tip #2: After you are done marinating the meat, we will re-use the marinating sauce as the glazing sauce. This is when you will add additional honey to it. The honey will sweeten up the glaze and thicken it up to give us that nice sticky thick layer
Tip #3: Don't over marinate the meat. This marinade has two very salty components: cooking wine and red fermented tofu which can make the end result very salty. Don't marinate it for less than 24 hours! but don't over marinate it as well
Use fancy/cooking molasses and not blackstrap molasses as that is bitter.