Japanese Gastronomy: Char Siu/Chyashyu-Basic Recipe

Charsiu Pork (Chinese-flavored Barbecued Pork)
Alternative name(s) chasu, cha siu, chashao, and char siew, barbecued meat
Place of origin China
Region or state Chinese-speaking areas, Japan, Southeast Asia
Main ingredient(s) Pork, mixture of honey, five-spice powder, fermented tofu (red), dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sherry or rice wine

Char siu (also spelled chasu, cha siu, chashao, and char siew), otherwise known as barbecued meat (usually pork) in China or Chinese-flavored barbecued meat outside China, is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is classified as a type of siu mei, Cantonese roasted meat. It is listed at number 28 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
That is for the wikipedia information.

But the Japanese also have their own recipes and her is the basic one:


As this is the basic recipe, I will explain the procedure only. I will leave it to you to decide on the exact amounts as priorities are vastly different!

-Pork Belly
-Sesame seeds
-Seven Spices/Shichimi/七味
-Thin leeks
-Large leeks
-Light taste soy sauce
-Japanese sake


Choose a block of pork belly with the right proportion of meat and fat.
Personally, I ctually prefer blocks cut out the thighs or back.

Make a few shallow cuts across the pork and salt it lightly. That step will ensure an even seasoning.

Bind the pork with cooking twine as shown in above picture with the fatty side outside.
Bind it tightly as to effectively shape the pork.

As the char siu has to be boiled first, prepare a large enough pan filled with water.
Drop the meat into the water.
Add just a drop of soy sauce, one clove of garlic, two leaves of laurel, some roughly cut leeks (thick variety), some Japanese sake and bring to boil.

Boil over a strong fire for one hour, scooping unwanted matters and scum from time to time.
Bear in mind the boiling water can be used as soupstock for other dishes!
Once taken out of the pan, let it cool and cut the twine. The meat should hold by itself.
It can be consumed as it is.

The Japanese then grill it (aburi/炙り) for an even deeper taste.

They use a special grill called nanarin/七輪 using charcoal.
Take care not to overgrill it and bear in mind oil could start flying!

Cut the char siu to the thickness wanted.
I like it very thin and eat it a it is. But when using it for ramen, I might cut it a bit thicker.

If you want to it eat and serve it for its own sake, cut many slices and arrange them on a serving dish and season it with seven spices mix/shichimi/七味, sesame seeds (whole or ground), chopped thin leeks, and a little ponzu.

Doesn’t that look appetizing!


Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

6 thoughts on “Japanese Gastronomy: Char Siu/Chyashyu-Basic Recipe”

  1. I adore pork and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the Japanese appreciate it a lot too. I have read so many times about this preparation, but have never tried making it. It looks fantastic!
    (Haha, by the way, can you imagine the face of my French butcher the first time I asked him to cut in a machine about 30 thin slices of pork loin? He already must find me very weird for buying almost only pork… Luckily there are still butchers in France… such things cannot be bought in supermarkets in Europe)


    1. Butchers in France apparently follow the same regulations as the bakers/boulangeries for the pleasure of consumers! Their ot is hard work, butyou still have artists around!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s