Char Siew BBQ Sauce

Char Siew, Chinese Roasted Pork, a popular dish among Chinese in Asia especially the Cantonese style. Also listed as number 28 on the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods” readers’ poll compiled by CNNGo in 2011. The sauce is used for preparing the dish, and due to the popularity,  the sauce  can be purchased easily from online, any supermarkets and mini marts in Asia. It is also easily available in any of the Chinatown stores in most countries around the world nowaday.

I have this recipe for more than 15 years ago when such availabilities in Chinatown stores outside Asia is not that common and mostly imported from Hong Kong while I used to the Singapore taste. Thus I pick this recipe from the local so that I can prepare it when I in overseas. Serve as dipping sauce or can be used as seasoning for roasting, stewing and stir-frying.

In Singapore we like to use this sauce for BBQ as not required any marinating preparation for  meats for BBQ. All you need to do is get your meats (beef, pork, chicken wings, ..etc), seafoods (prawn, squid fishes …etc) and vegetables (mushroom, tomatoes, carrot  ..etc) from supermarkets, put them on the stewkers, brush a thin layer of the sauce and you just BBQ the skewers. Once the BBQ food cooked, it will be tasty to eat, or else, you just tip the food with some sauce.

This also a very good dipping sauce for deep fried food such as nugget, potato or tortilla chips , french fries and potatoes wedges. I also like to use this sauce as dipping for nugget and chips but not really like to use it for french fries or potatoes wedges while many of my friends like to do so.

Another reason I will make this sauce instead of buying from stores as I try to have a ‘healthy version’ thus I have replaced some ingredients from the original recipe. It is also easy to prepare and can storage for a few months. So normally, I will prepare about at least 175 ml and store in jar and chill it.


  • 1 tablespoon oil or olive oil (I replace the oil with olive oil)
  • 100 ml light soya sauce
  • 100 g sugar or honey (I replace sugar with honey)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoon rice wine or white wine (if white wine, try to avoid those type with any sweetness, or you need to remove the sugar or honey, otherwise the sauce will be rather sweet)
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (this have to get from Chinatown stores or online for countries outside Asia). This is important as this is the ingredient that make this sauce ‘Char Xiu’, without this, this sauce is just a BBQ sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks spring onion
  • 5 slices ginger


  1. Heat up oil and sauté in chopped garlic, spring onion and ginger till fragrant.
  2. Add in the rest of ingredients, mix well and bring to boil.

 Cooking Time 20 minutes.

Storage period Good for 2 – 3 months under refrigeration.

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