Char Siu, or Char Siew in Malaysia, is barbecue honey pork
I don’t really have a taste for sweet meat. However, char siu, if made well, can really hit a good spot. Originally from China, char siu has many names including char siew, chasao, char siew rice, and chasao.
I find in West Malaysia it’s more commonly refered to as char siew, or Chinese barbecue pork.
What is char siu pork made from?
The pork meat is marinated in honey, dark soy sauce or hoisin sauce, with some mild spices. Common in many restaurants today is the addition of strong red food coloring. Which thankfully I managed to avoid.
If you are really lucky in high-end establishments you might get some char siu that’s also been coated in rice wine or sherry.
Street vendors char siu pork in Malaysia
I usually found it very easy to get char siu pork on the streets of West Malaysia, and Sabah for that matter. They never seemed to skimp on the size of the portion either.
Many also coat the meat with some extra char siu sauce, which goes really well with the soft bed of rice that it’s served with.
I rarely got any vegetables with my serving though.
Chinese char siu or Malaysian char siew?
I’ve had this in both China, Sabah, and West Malaysia. I’ll give the nod to West Malaysia on this one. Primarily as they give ample portions of meat, it was always hot, and the rice flavored with chicken.
At about 3.50 to 4 ringgit (USD$1.30) a portion, from a street hawker, it’s well worth trying!
This is an additional article featuring food from West Malaysia