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Five-ingredient marinade + easy-to-find pork tenderloin makes for easy char siu pork tenderloin!
Have you ever had char siu? Char siu is a Chinese style of barbecue pork. The finished pork is sticky, sweet, tangy, and absolutely delicious in ways that American-style barbecued pork is not. If you are a fan of either barbecue pork or Chinese food, you need to try this recipe!
The key to this recipe is a long marinade in a traditional marinade, followed by a slow cook, and finished with a glaze to make the pork perfect!
While char siu is becoming more popular in the Midwest as we learn more about different Chinese cuisines, we are guessing you may not be familiar with the recipe. Here are answers to a few questions you may have about this dish.
This simple five-ingredient marinade comes together beautifully to cover almost all of the basic flavors: sweet, salty, and savory.
Here’s our marinade and an explanation of what each ingredient brings to the dish:
This recipe can be modified to add chili flakes or garlic (minced or powder) to the marinade as well if you like a spicy version or a garlicky version. Some people even add a few drops of red food coloring to give the marinade a lovely bright red hue!
We think the balance in the five simple ingredients is a perfect starting place, but feel free to taste the marinade and adjust to your taste from there.
Believe it or not, pork tenderloin isn’t the most popular choice of pork when making char siu.
We like using pork tenderloin because as a certified lean cut of pork, it has a more delicate flavor than other cuts of pork, so we think it shows off the flavor of the marinade more readily.
Another benefit of using pork tenderloin to make char siu is that the cylindrical shape means no part of the inside of the pork is far away from an outside surface that has been coated with marinade!
However, many recipes for char siu pork like to use fattier cuts of pork that shred instead of slice. These cuts are often less expensive than pork tenderloin as well. These cuts include:
These cuts will take extended cooking time, but can be used with the same marinade and basic method described in this recipe.
Our char siu pork tenderloin recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker with a few changes:
This set-it-and-forget-it method of cooking char siu pork tenderloin is perfect when you have a party coming up and want to take the stress out of cooking!
If you love cooking using a sous vide cooker, this is the perfect recipe to cook sous vide! The pork will become incredibly tender and soak in all of the flavors of the marinade.
Here’s how to cook sous vide char siu pork:
We served the char siu pork tenderloin on top of rice with a crunchy Asian broccoli slaw. It was delicious!
Serving the char siu pork with steamed or roasted vegetables like broccoli, baby bok choi, or get fancy and serve broccolini.
The meat can also be used as an ingredient to use as stuffing for dumplings or bao buns, it can be stirred into fried rice, or served as part of a stir-fry.
Yes! Hoisin is a key ingredient in this recipe and it’s a perfect seasoning to go with pork. We have put together Hoisin Baby Back Rib and Hoisin Pork Tenderloin recipes that you may also enjoy.
We hope that answered all of your questions about our easy char siu pork tenderloin recipe. If you have more questions, or if you made alterations to the recipe, please let us know by leaving a comment below.
We appreciate your feedback and hope to see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!
Make your char siu mariande by adding all of the marinade ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisking them together. Taste the char siu and adjust to your preference. More honey will make the marinade sweeter, while more hoisin will make the marinade more savory and bold.
Place the pork tenderloins in a sealable plastic bag and pour 2/3 of the marinade into the bag. Seal the bag and work the marinade onto all surfaces of the pork. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator and save the remaining marinade to use while cooking.
After the char siu pork tenderloin marinades, remove it from the bag and place on a baking sheet. We recommend lining the sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
Brush the pork with half of the remaining marinade and put it into an oven preheated to 425ºF. Roast for 15 minutes then remove and brush the pork tenderloins with the remaining char siu marinade.
Turn the broiler to high and cook for approximately five more minutes until the pork reaches 165ºF.
Once the pork is done cooking, remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, and then slice into thin pieces. Serve over rice and enjoy a heavenly meal of char siu pork tenderloin!