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Help with Asian Style BBQ pork


ducphat30
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Looking for some input on the best way to marinade pork loin for a "fried rice" but I want it to have that nice red ring. The only other time I have seen it is when I have smoked meats.

Any and all ideas are appreciated.

Thanks

Patrick Sheerin

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Looking for some input on the best way to marinade pork loin for a "fried rice" but I want it to have that nice red ring.  The only other time I have seen it is when I have smoked meats. 

Any and all ideas are appreciated.

Thanks

I think some of the commercial marinades used for Char Siu use a lot of ketchup, they also use food coloring to get that really bright red color.

This is a traditional marinade, but it wont make it that bright red unless you add ketchup or red food dye:

For the Marinade:

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow bean sauce

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoons brandy, whisky or rum

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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2 parts ketchup to 1 part seafood cocktail sauce, sugar to neutralize the ketchup's saltiness a bit. Marinate pork in this mixture, refridgerated, overnight.

In the smokehouse it goes for at least 4-6 hours, cut open a piece of meat to ensure it's cooked through every half hour after 4 hours.

Note: the cooking time depends on the size of the piece of pork, obviously pork strips will take less time to cook through than big pork butts-use your judgement. If it looks cooked, smells good, then take a knife to it and see.

What, you thought Chinese cooking was an exact science?....... :raz:

:::looks over his shoulder to see the Chinese-American Chef Association rushing up behind him with cleavers::: AAAIIIIEEEE!!!!!!!

Edited by Singapore (log)

Be polite with dragons, for thou art crunchy and goeth down well with ketchup....

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I had that red stuff on some quail with grits at a DC restaurant and it was remarkably good. Ive seen the red stuff in powder form at an asian grocery, but it didnt have the sweet twang like at the restaurant. I did add some rice vinegar and ketchup to make up for it. But it was RED, I'll give it that.

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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The so called "SECRET" in making your Chinese Style Roast Pork and Spareribs actually evolved from the Cantonese Restaurants in NYC who realized that by making the top of the Pork Loins and the Spare Ribs with a Red Exterior, together with a shiny slightly charred crust would turn into Restaurant Gold.

This was done by using "Red Food Color", "Soy Sauce", "Sugar" and the secret ingredient was prepared by Simmering Dried Apricots chopped into almost a paste together with Water and Sugar until it became almost clarified, then strained thru a fine metal strainer.

This was combined with the Food Color, Soy Sauce, Sugar to Taste and the Apricot Glaze, brought to a boil and after cooling used to marinate and coat the Pork Loins and Ribs.

The Ribs and Strips of defatted Pork Loins were then "Hung" up on the top rack of a Chinese Roast Oven, generally with a water pan located inside to keep the process moist and slow roasted with a rise in temperature to Char and Glaze the Surface during the last few minutes of preparation. Sometimes the Roast Cook with Lightly Brush the Meats Surface before the Finish when the temperature was raised.

This resulted in what was served in NYC as "Roast Pork" and "Barbecued Spare Ribs", in the majority of NYC area Chinese Restaurants. The Roast Pork was also used in Fried Rice and Roast Pork with Chinese Vegetables as well as Garnishing the Pork Chop Suey and Pork Chow Mein also very popular.

I have never heard of using Ketchup in any of the recipes used in Restaurants. In Hong Kong it generally included some "Far Due" Rice Wine in the Marinate with Strained Australian Apricot Jam, Soy and Sugar with the Red Color used for "Char Sue" items. I find it easier to also just heat and strain some Apricot Jam for the Glaze, works great for Chicken, Duck and almost everything else without adding the Red Color.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Cool! I get to tell my Dad, who learned how to make this in NYC's chinatown, that he'd been doing it all wrong! No wonder our restaurant didn't last over 12 years! :raz:

Be polite with dragons, for thou art crunchy and goeth down well with ketchup....

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Cool! I get to tell my Dad, who learned how to make this in NYC's chinatown, that he'd been doing it all wrong! No wonder our restaurant didn't last over 12 years! :raz:

Singapore:

Your Dad may have learned it differently because of one important fact.

In the NYC Chinatown there were two different types of Restaurants, especially before the mid 1970's that catered to different customers.

There were many very well established operations that depended on Tourists and the Non-Asian New Yorkers for most of their sales, these all featured the Americanized, "Roast Pork" and "Spareribs", as well as "Lobster Cantonese", "Moo Goo Gai Pan", "NY Style Fried Rice", "Chop Suey", "Chow Mein", and other items evolved thru the years.

Then there were the other Restaurant's such as "Woo Fat" or the "Nam Wah Teahouse Bakery" plus many others that catered almost entirely to the Asian Clientèle that started to become infiltrated by non-Asians gradually thru the years who appreciated the dishes served. Many were also open until the AM hours and welcomed all late night eaters.

Almost none of these places ever served any Spare Ribs except for specialties like Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce, Mostly Steamed Crabs or Crabs in Black Bean Sauce. rarely any Lobster Dishes. The most popular Fish was often Sea Bass. As you became a regular customer it became easy to simply point at something that was being served that looked interesting to get it served. Most of the specials were displayed on Hand Written Papers hung on the wall's in Chinese. The Fried Rice that we learned to order was called "Young Chow Style" and the majority of items served especially the Noodle Dishes and Soups were very different then what most were accustomed to being served in what we considered the traditional Chinese restaurants. Even when you requested "Roast Pork" what you were served wasn't from the Loin, but generally a Fatty Tastier Piece of Roasted Pork that was different then we expected.

I would suggest you ask your Dad what type of Chinese Restaurant that he worked in when he lived in NYC, I'm pretty sure if was one of the real types that catered to Chinese. If he was from "Singapore" the most successful type of semi-westernized restaurants in Hong Kong were often operated by former Singapore Seamen who had the ability to offer customers both Chinese, Malay and European Foods in a manner that appealed to the Hong Kong customers at reasonable prices.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Irwin, I'm a little confused by the terminology you use.

In Chinese "siu laap", there two different "roasted" pork dishes.

When someone says roast pork, I think of "siu yok", which is a thick slab of pork belly that has a crispy crackling skin on one side and layers of fat and lean meat underneath, and possibly some bone. Siu yok is often salty, but never sweet.

The pork with the characteristic red exterior, to me, is Chinese BBQ pork or "char siu". It is an entirely different cut of meat (loin?), tastes slightly sweet, and is (somewhat) less fatty than siu yok.

Although both are technically "roasted", restaurant menus I've seen adhere to those labels and definitions.

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Irwin, I'm a little confused by the terminology you use.

In Chinese "siu laap", there two different "roasted" pork dishes.

When someone says roast pork, I think of "siu yok", which is a thick slab of pork belly that has a crispy crackling skin on one side and layers of fat and lean meat underneath, and possibly some bone. Siu yok is often salty, but never sweet.

The pork with the characteristic red exterior, to me, is Chinese BBQ pork or "char siu". It is an entirely different cut of meat (loin?), tastes slightly sweet, and is (somewhat) less fatty than siu yok.

Although both are technically "roasted", restaurant menus I've seen adhere to those labels and definitions.

Laksa:

The terminology that I'm guilty of using is the New Yorkesse Chinese Restaurant speak that has evolved from the pre-depression years. The New York that now exists Chinese Cuisine wise is a relatively recent occurrence. For many years the busiest and most popular Chinese Restaurants were located in Jewish Neighborhoods that pretty much no longer exist in the same throughout the City. The neighborhoods that are now considered Jewish are more often populated by variations of Orthodox Communities served by Kosher Chinese Restaurants.

When we opened the first Kosher Chinese Restaurant, "Schmulka Bernstiens" we even served a adaptation of "Roast Meat" made from Strips of Veal Prepared in a Chinese Roasting Oven. Even tried serving "Roasted Lamb Ribs" both items were also Colored Red and tasted pretty good.

The "Char Sui" served in Hong Kong and in most authentic Chinese Restaurants that feature Roasted Dishes is rarely made from Pork Loin as it is considered to dry and lean for the majority of customers. The Most common cut used is called the "CT Butt" a boneless, trimmed Pork Butt, cut into strips mixing fat with lean meat for flavor.

The Pork Belly [My favorite] is best prepared with Pickled Vegetables, "Hakka Style" or Braised to melt in the mouth tenderness. "Szechwan Style" in fact it delicious every way it's prepared.

But this was never served to customers in the great majority of NYC's Chinese Restaurants except as a special in those places that wrote these items in Chinese and posted them on the wall.

Siu Yok is the same piece of Pork used in making Bacon and Salt Pork in the States. Bacon over most of the rest of the World is prepared from the Pork Shoulder or Gammon except for Canada where "Canadian Bacon" made from the Pork Loin originated.

It's true that most Chinese Restaurants are becoming more into menus that are more appropriate and descriptive, mostly in the larger cities and suburbs but the old style still is more generally available when your away from the Asian communities.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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:shock: I was told by workmates to marinate the pork in a paste of red fermented tofu - that doesn't make a sweet char siew of course, and the red color is not pronounced.

Whatever style of cooking *that* might be, New York Chinatown it isn't - more like "roast pork a la Chinese weekend wild pig hunter from Hobson Street, Auckland, New Zealand"

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Irwin, let me see if I'm hearing you correctly. If someone were looking to recreate 'old school' New York style American geared Chinese restaurant spare ribs/red cooked pork (char siu) then the marinade/basting sauce would include:

Red food coloring

soy sauce

dried apricots

sugar

water

And nothing else.

no garlic

no ginger

no spices

Is this correct? And if so, are you absolutely certain of this?

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Irwin, let me see if I'm hearing you correctly. If someone were looking to recreate 'old school' New York style American geared Chinese restaurant spare ribs/red cooked pork (char siu) then the marinade/basting sauce would include:

Red food coloring

soy sauce

dried apricots

sugar

water

And nothing else.

no garlic

no ginger

no spices

Is this correct? And if so, are you absolutely certain of this?

scott123:

YES: that is the basic "Generic" ingredient list. Used with minor variations in Hong Kong and NYC for many years.

We prepared a variation for use by the Roast Cooks at our restaurants in Hong Kong to make the finish consistent and unique to our places.

This was done by putting Peeled Mature Ginger that we Stone Ground and added to the Fine Chopped Apricots before Red Cooking [soy] with the Sugar and Red Food Color to give our Pork a little more zing.

We also found that by the addition of Vegetable Oil into our Marinade permitted a nicer glaze on the finished Pork Products that our customers liked.

We prepared our Marinate in 55 Gallon Drums that we Rotated allowing the base to stand several days before being sent to the individual restaurants in 5 Gallon Containers.

If Garlic, Red Fermented Tofu, Bean Paste, Beet Juice or Spices were used it would be very unusual as they could effect the finish of the Roasted Pork.

I have known of several places who have used some Cayenne Ground Pepper to enhance the color and spice it up a bit, but it wasn't something done except as a gimmick in some Szechwan Restaurants in NYC because customers often requested Roast Pork and they served it their own style spiced up a bit.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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The Pork Belly [My favorite] is best prepared with Pickled Vegetables, "Hakka Style" or Braised to melt in the mouth tenderness. "Szechwan Style" in fact it delicious every way it's prepared.

Irwin,

if you are talking about "kao yok", that is my favorite way to eat pork belly. I like it stewed with "mui choi" and slices of taro. Is that Hakka in origin? I never knew. Can you recommend a good place in NYC to have that dish? (I should probably ask that in the NY forum, but since I'm here...)

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Is 'red yeast rice' still used? Or has red food coloring taken over completely? If I have it correctly, NJ's China46 uses the rice - for, I believe. their Ruby Pork.

Jo-mel,

Are you talking about a by-product of making red rice wine? I never knew that it was used in bbq pork. The foochow people have use that as the main flavoring agent in a number of chicken and pork dishes. I ate a lot of that when I lived with my parents, but miss it terribly. Everyday, I find more and more reasons to check out China 46.

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The Pork Belly [My favorite] is best prepared with Pickled Vegetables, "Hakka Style" or Braised to melt in the mouth tenderness. "Szechwan Style" in fact it delicious every way it's prepared.

Irwin,

if you are talking about "kao yok", that is my favorite way to eat pork belly. I like it stewed with "mui choi" and slices of taro. Is that Hakka in origin? I never knew. Can you recommend a good place in NYC to have that dish? (I should probably ask that in the NY forum, but since I'm here...)

Laksa:

Your "Kow Yok" dish with Mui Choi and Taro, was much appreciated as soon as Fall/Winter started cooling down in Hong Kong it was featured in the Causeway Bay Tai Pai Tongs baked in clay pots, and several weeks late was regularly offed at many Restaurant's. Thinking of that melting tender Pork makes me start to salivate. Even the Taro Tasted Better then anywhere else when prepared with the Pork. I requested that it be prepared in Honolulu , but almost all the Chefs claimed it was a winter dish.

I am not upto date about the NYC area Chinese Restaurants. I anticipate visiting there in September, if you are able to find any please advise, as I would enjoy taking my daughter to go back on memory lane as it was one of her favorite dishes when we lived in Hong Kong. It may not be stylish now, but it's worth the exception.

The Branch of the Hakka Restaurant from Honolulu has prepared your favorite several times at their Seattle location, where the "Kow Yok, with Pickled Vegetables is a standard item. The Preparation of the Pork is different for both dishes, I enjoy it no matter how it's done.

In Hong Kong the "Foochow", Red Yeast Rice was often utilized in enhancing "Red Cooked Dishes" it was very popular for Braised Whole Chicken and many other items offered at "Specialty Roasters" especially for the seasonal treat of the "Rice Birds", prepared on skewers with at least one dozen Birds that you ate whole.

Irwin

Edited by wesza (log)

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Ahem, I have used annatto like this for many, many years to get the red coloring so desired in spare ribs and etc.

And who turned me on to this? Charlie Lau, one time chef at Kelbo's on Pico, back in the early 60s.

He said there were a lot of gloppy sauces that were used to produce the color but he liked the annatto that a Mexican cook at the jai alia palace in Mexicali introduced him to back in the late 40s.

It was his "secret" concoction and was simply Karo syrup, lemon or lime juice and annatto with some chinese 5-spice cooked and strained and in which the ribs were briefly dipped prior to being dipped into the barbecue sauce.

He said to use tongs to handle the ribs because the stuff will dye your hands for days or weeks.

Now, of course, we have gloves.

It has very little flavor in and of itself but the color - that is intense.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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