Chinese Barbecue Sauce (Char Siu)

Char Siu chinese barbecue sauce
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Ratings (11)
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups (24 portions)

Traditional Chinese barbecue sauce doesn't contain tomatoes but does contain a lot of fantastic flavors. This thick sauce works perfectly on any grilled or smoked foods, but like most barbecue sauces can burn easily because of the sugar content. So use it only at the end of cooking. Try this delicious sauce on pork tenderloin, pork spareribs, chicken, and turkey breast.


  • 1/2 cup/120 mL sherry
  • 2/3 cup/160 mL hoisin sauce
  • 2/3 cup/160 mL soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup/120 mL sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL black bean paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon/7.5 mL Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a double boiler and simmer on medium to medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken.

  2. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before using. If making ahead of time, let the sauce cool completely and place into an airtight container. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation. Reheat sauce in the microwave for 1 minute or so before using.​

  3. Use sauce on all types of pork and poultry. Use toward the last 5 to 15 minutes of cook time, depending on size and cut of meat. Watch for burning. The sauce can also be served on the side.