Chinese BBQ Pork

Chinese BBQ Pork 01

I love this stuff and I can eat tons of it! As an appetizer dipped in hot mustard, in chow/low mein, and even cold from the fridge as an “over the sink” snack. It’s always been one of my favorite things to order when splurging for appetizers, but it’s very much a splurge because it’s always so expensive. I also find that even if a restaurant has a particularly good version of this, it can still occasionally be dried out or have a funky (old and/or reheated) aftertaste. The homemade version does have a long(ish) list of ingredients, but if you like to cook you probably already have all but a few of the things you need. Plus, once you invest in the other relatively cheap ingredients you’ll be able to make this recipe several times, and you will want to make it several times! Oh, and by “over the sink”, I mean standing there with the fridge door open.


  • 2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder roast, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBSP ketchup
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  • 1 TBSP boiling hot water
  • 1 TBSP dry white vermouth or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP peanut or canola oil
  • 1 TBSP fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder*
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • Optional (for serving) Sweet chili sauce & Chinese hot mustard

 This recipe needs 24 hours to marinate the pork before cooking.
• The pork should be long strips, around 3 inches thick after you cut it.
• Use a plastic zip top bag for best marinating results.


  1. Place the pork in a zip-top bag and set aside.
    Combine all the remaining ingredients and whisk well, remove around 2 tablespoons of the marinade and refrigerate it in a small covered bowl, before pouring the rest over the pork. Using tongs or your (gloved) hand, reach in and turn the pork over in the marinade so that both pieces are coated. Then, remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Gently massage and squish the pork around in the bag before putting the bag in a bowl. Place the pork, in the bowl, into the fridge to marinate for 24 hours. Take the pork out and give it a little massage and turn it over in the bowl, around half way (10 to 12 hours).
  2. When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 475f. Double line a baking sheet (with a rim/lip) with foil and place a heat proof rack on top. Grease the rack and pour a little water in the bottom of the lined baking sheet.
    Remove the pork from the bag and gently rub off any excess marinade, before placing it on the greased rack side by side. Straighten out the pork so that the two pieces lay straight and do not touch.
  3. Place the pork in the preheated oven to cook for 30 minutes. Then, flip the pork over, coat with the reserved marinade and put a little more water in the bottom of the pan. Bake the pork for a further 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165f. If you’d like a darker/crispier outside, broil the pork for the last few minutes of cooking -but watch it every second!- it will burn easily at this stage.
  4. When the pork is done take it out of the oven, but leave it on the rack on the pan. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Makes 8 to 12 Servings


  • *Use just half a teaspoon of the Chinese 5-spice powder if want a subtle flavor. All Chinese 5-spice is not created equal and you may need to experiment. I used some that I made myself and it’s very strong, but I still used 3/4 teaspoon because I really like the flavor it gives. I wouldn’t leave it out entirely or you may find it doesn’t taste anything like it is supposed to.
  • I opted to not use any sort of coloring (main picture), but I have used it before and I do like the red tint around the outside.
  • I sometimes use sugar instead of honey.