A few things to take note of, though, if you are trying this for the first time.
- It doesn't matter if there are only two heads in the household. Since you are already at it, I suggest that you make a large batch which you can keep and consume as you wish: char siew with plain rice and stir-fried vegetables; fried rice the next day with the leftovers; char siew wantan mee (with dumplings you've kept in the freezer); char siew with udon and dried seaweed for a 15-minute meal; these are but a few at my fingertips. My point is if you are putting a large tray in a larger oven, you might as well make the most of it.
- Char siew cannot be made on the spur of the moment, even if you have the meat. It requires advance planning because the meat is best left soaking in its marinade overnight, or eight hours. It does not take much effort as I will show you how in a moment. But unless you go out to buy the meat as early as 7am, you'd need at least one day's notice to have char siew for dinner.
- Your choice of meat tells quite a bit about your personality. Pork belly for the hedonists. Pork loin for the uptight. Pork shoulders for the level-headed. If you want juicy char siew without clogging your arteries, pork shoulders sound reasonable. If you are stick-thin like Gwyneth, please please go crazy with more belly.
- When you pop the meat in the oven, make sure it sits above a tray of shallow water. This is very important if you want effortless cleaning up later. And even if you have someone to clean after you, please show some compassion.
Serves 4-6 as side dish
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
800 g pork shoulder, cut in 3-cm slices
Carefully place the tin in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. Baste the meat and continue to roast for 15 minutes at 180°C.
To make the gravy, pour the remaining marinade in the baking dish and place the dish in the lower rack of the oven for no more than 5 minutes. Pay attention as the marinade will thicken and you do not want it to harden and burn. Remove the gravy from the oven and set aside.