Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl

Insanely delicious sweet and sticky Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork) served on top of warm rice, topped with a gloriously molten onsen egg and then doused with the most flavourful Char Siu sauce. You will be shocked at how easy it is to make it at home! 

Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl

If like me, you’ve ever stared longingly at the slabs of Char Siu hanging in the window of most Chinese restaurants, you will fully understand my joy when I say that you can now have incredible Char Siu at home any time you want! It took me awhile to get this Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl recipe right but happy to say we got there in the end. Made with a simple yet insanely flavourful sauce, the pork takes on all the aromatics and is then baked to perfection. When ready, you’ll see that the exterior is slightly charred, caramelised, and just glistening under the light. A diamond of its own kind if you will. 

Char Siu is traditionally cooked over charcoals with the meat hanging on hooks (hence the name BBQ pork). To mimic the smoky flavour at home, the secret is to pop this hunk of meat until the broiler for a couple of minutes until the sugars in the marinade start to caramelise. While I’m on this point, have I already mentioned that it’s SO EASY to make at home? If not, it is SO FRIGGIN’ EASY. 

Now, there are endless (and I mean endless) ways you can serve/enjoy Char Siu. On top of rice or noodles, wrapped in a dumpling or pastry, on or with greens. One of my favourite things on the planet is actually a BBQ  pork pastry (aka Char Siu Sou) but today, I opted for a simple rice bowl. This way, the incredible flavours in the gravy and Char Siu slices can really shine through!

Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl

The best cuts of pork for Char Siu 

I used pork tenderloin in this Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl recipe, which is the lean cut traditionally used in Cantonese restaurants. You could also use pork loin for a slightly cheaper cut! As these are lean cuts of meat, you do need to be careful about overcooking. I actually do really like it made with pork belly too but honestly, couldn’t find a slab of meat that would make for a nice photo (I know, food blogger problems lol). This would also be great when made with pork shoulder, although it’ll require a longer cooking time to make the meat juicy (but that means incredible caramelisation). If using pork shoulder, be sure to get one that’s boneless, skinless, and don’t forget to trim off most of the fat layer on the surface. 

Regardless of your choice of cut, just ensure that your slabs of pork are about 6 cm wide and 3 cm thick so baking time will remain the same. Basically you want them in long, thin chunks. 

Char Siu

What’s different about this recipe? 

A lot of recipes actually call for red food colouring to get that crimson red exterior that you’re used to seeing in Cantonese restaurants. I don’t like using colouring in my food so I opted for something even better, something that gives both colour AND flavour – red fermented beancurd. If you’re wondering what it is, its a type of beancurd that’s been preserved in rice wine, preserved red rice and other seasonings. It’s used as a flavour enhancer in marinades (case in point) and stews. These cubes of red beancurd typically come in jars/cans along with a thick sauce. In stews, soups or stir-fry, they will melt into the rest of the ingredients as they cook but if used in a marinade, these cubes need to be mashed prior to adding to the recipe. 

Maltose is also a common ingredient in most Char Siu recipe but as I felt that it was an ingredient that most people don’t have at home (and probably won’t ever use again), I replaced it with honey. 

Lastly, this Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl recipe will give you a generous helping of sauce, which I absolutely loveeeee. You may have extra but given how good it is, I doubt you would be mad at me. If you have any leftover sauce, I’d recommend frying off some minced pork and adding the sauce to it. It makes for a wonderful meal! Kind of like a cheat’s Char Siu. 

How easy is this recipe? 

Very, undoubtedly, indubitably, ridiculously easy. All you need to do is chuck the pork and ingredients for the marinade into a zip lock bag. Seal it and give it a shaky shake. Pop it into the fridge overnight (or at least 3 hours) so that all the incredible flavours infuse into the pork and then bake it at 200°C for approximately 30 minutes (depending on the size of your pork). Then, let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes while you scoop rice into your serving bowls, cook the onsen eggs, and prepare your garnish (& table for this restaurant-quality dish). Slice the pork up nice and thinly, lay them all over your bowl of rice and gently crack the egg over it as well. Generously slather sauce all over it and garnish with your chopped spring onions. Et voila. 

Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl

Saucy Char Siu Rice Bowl

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Serves: 4

Insanely delicious sweet and sticky Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork) served on top of warm rice, topped with a gloriously molten onsen egg and then doused with the most flavourful Char Siu sauce. You will be shocked at how easy it is to make it at home!


  • 600g pork tenderloin (or pork loin/belly/shoulder)
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5 thin slices of ginger
  • 4 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon red beancurd plus 2 tablespoons of its liquid (or replace with 1 tablespoon of miso)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 bowls of warm cooked rice
  • 2 spring onions, chopped (for garnish)



In a large zip lock bag, add in the garlic, ginger, Shaoxing wine, light and dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, five spice powder and red beancurd and mix until well incorporated. Add the pork in and seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Massage the bag a few times until the pork is evenly coated with the marinade. Pop it in the fridge to marinate for at least 3 hours or ideally, overnight.


For the onsen egg, if using a sous vide, cook at 63°C for 1 hour. See notes if cooking over the stove.


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking dish that's at least 3 inches deep with aluminium foil. The foil is essential for easy clean up.


Pour the contents of the zip lock bag into the lined baking dish and push the ginger and garlic slices under the pork so that it doesn’t burn. Bake uncovered for a total of 30 minutes or until the pork is cooked through (it may take longer if you’re using a different cut/size of pork). The internal temperature should range between 65 to 70°C.


Every 10 minutes, remove the baking dish from the oven and baste the pork with the sauce around it before popping it back into the oven. For your final baste (e.g. the 3rd one if you’re baking it for 30 minutes), turn on your broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes until it looks glossy and lightly charred.


Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes in the baking dish before cutting into it. In the meantime, scoop your rice into your serving bowls. If you're making the onsen eggs over the stove, now would be the time to cook it.


Slice the Char Siu and place them on top of the rice. Gently crack the egg on top, spoon some sauce over the top and garnish with the chopped spring onion. Serve immediately.


1. To cook the onsen eggs over the stove, bring 1 litre of water to a boil in a pot over the stove. Once boiling, take it off the heat and add 200ml of room temperature water. Place 4 room temperature eggs into the pot, cover and let it sit for 7 minutes - make sure you use a timer! Remove the eggs from the hot water and place them in a bowl of iced water until ready to use.

2. If you have leftover sauce, I recommend frying off some minced pork and then adding the sauce to it. This would make a really lovely meal!

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