Pork Tenderloin “Char Siu”

10 Feb

This is an easy version of Chinese roast pork “char siu” that you can prep in advance, and toss in the oven less than an hour before dinner time. Forget the red food colouring; this marinade will give the pork a natural, reddish hue. Though traditional char siu involves fattier cuts of pork, I use tenderloins because they are leaner, and they always come out tender (no pun intended!).  The recipe below makes sufficient marinade for 3-4 tenderloins. Halve the ingredients for 1-2 tenderloins.

roast pork and noodles


  • 4 pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder


1. Combine garlic, soy sauce, honey and Chinese five spice to make the marinade.

char siu marinade

2. In a large glass bowl, pour marinade over pork tenderloins. Coat all sides of tenderloins with marinade.

3. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can keep this in the fridge for two days!)

4. Roast tenderloins on a pan with a rack at 425°F for 10 minutes.

5. Reduce oven to 400°F and continue roasting until internal temperature of the tenderloins reaches 140°F (about 30 minutes).

6. Remove from heat, and let sit 10 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil.

roast pork

7. Slice and serve with greens and rice, or as I’ve shown above, atop a bowl of Chinese noodles in soup with mushrooms, onions, bok choy and scallions.

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