Chinese barbecue pork, or char sir, is a popular style of pork found at just about every Chinese restaurant or deli. It can be served sliced as a main dish, chopped up in fried rice, mixed in a stir fry, or as a filling in baos, which are soft buns either baked or steamed. It’s quite versatile and the options are endless.
It’s a sweet, aromatic meat made with pork with its usual red coloring, and probably is as common to the Chinese cuisine as barbecue pork ribs is to the American culture. If you’ve never tried it, do so when you see it when you’re out and about.
Way back when…before cell phones and computers…yes, I am that old…when I was in college, there was this place where we would get these amazing char siu burgers with avocado slices and a crazy sauce that just put everything over the top. Of course, it’s no longe there, as my friends have in formed me. But then the other day, I thought about that place and decided to come up with my own version in a slider.
There are a lot of char siu recipes made by Asian or Chinese cooks. I didn’t want to copy them, so I came up with my own version. I did not add any red food coloring to make it look like the char siu you see in restaurants or delis. And as usual, I had to scale it down to bites. So, instead of using thick pork roast slices, I used pork tender loin and carved thin slices onto slider buns. Mmmm…sweet memories from a delicious past. Maybe not exactly the same from the good old days, but good enough to say ahhhhhh.
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)
- 2 T ketchup
- 2 T hoisin sauce (Asian food aisle)
- 1 pork loin
- 12 brioche buns (I used Nature’s Own brand)
- Alfalfa sprouts
- 1 to 2 avocados, depending on the size
- Mayo for smearing
Combine the sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, ketchup and hoisin sauce, and place in a zip lock bag. Add the pork loin and marinate overnight.
Remove the pork loin and place on a baking sheet. Save the marinade and set aside. Roast the meat at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, but it’s best to use a meat thermometer that reaches 145 degrees. Oven time might vary. Let the meat rest three minutes before slicing. The center should be just cooked with a little pink, so it isn’t dry and tough.
Put the reserved marinade in a small pot and bring to a boil to cook out the raw pork. Set aside. Mash the avocados, leaving it chunky, and set aside.
Thinly slice the meat and place on the buns. Drizzle the meat with the cooked marinade. Top with the mashed avocado. Add the alfalfa sprouts. Smear top bun with mayo and serve.