Char Siu Chicken

The Ultimate Guide to Making Char Siu Chicken

Char Siu, a term that resonates deeply within the culinary realms of Chinese cuisine, traditionally refers to a delightful barbecue pork dish. However, the versatility of Char Siu transcends beyond pork, embracing chicken as a succulent alternative. This guide unveils the secrets to crafting mouth-watering Char Siu Chicken, a dish that promises to tantalize your taste buds with its sweet and savory glaze, tender texture, and rich flavors.

Ingredients and Preparation

Embarking on the journey to create Char Siu Chicken begins with gathering the right ingredients. The marinade, a pivotal component, is a harmonious blend of:

  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Red fermented bean curd (and its brine)
  • Light and dark soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Chu hou sauce

For those interested in exploring more about unique ingredients and their culinary uses, consider reading our article on the ultimate guide to creating easy cake donuts at home, which dives into the creative use of ingredients in baking.

The preparation process is straightforward yet requires patience. Combine the marinade ingredients and let the chicken marinate overnight, ensuring the flavors deeply infuse into the meat. The next day, roast the chicken in a preheated oven, basting it with a maltose mixture for that iconic glaze and char.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

Achieving the perfect Char Siu Chicken involves more than just following a recipe; it’s about mastering the art of marination and roasting:

  • Marinating Techniques: The longer the chicken marinates, the more flavorful it becomes. A minimum of 12 hours is recommended for the marinade to work its magic.
  • Cooking Techniques: To ensure your chicken is both succulent and slightly charred, keep a close eye on the oven temperature and the chicken’s internal temperature. Basting the chicken during roasting adds to its luscious glaze and helps achieve those desirable charred edges.
Ingredients for Char Siu Chicken recipe

For enthusiasts looking to expand their culinary skills further, our article on light chicken potpie: a healthier twist on a classic comfort food offers insights into cooking techniques that enhance flavor while maintaining healthfulness.

Nutritional Information

Char Siu Chicken is not only a feast for the senses but also offers nutritional benefits. It’s a protein-rich dish with a balance of sweet and savory flavors, making it a healthier alternative to takeout options. For those with dietary restrictions, the recipe can be easily adjusted to suit gluten-free and low-carb diets.


Addressing common queries about Char Siu Chicken:

  • How to store and reheat leftovers? Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat gently in the oven or on the stove to retain moisture.
  • Can Char Siu Chicken be made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot? Yes, both appliances can be used to make Char Siu Chicken, though the charred effect may need to be achieved with a quick broil in the oven afterward.
  • Variations of the recipe for different tastes? Adjust the sweetness or saltiness by modifying the amount of honey or soy sauce. Adding chili flakes can introduce a spicy kick.


Char Siu Chicken is a testament to the adaptability and enduring appeal of traditional Chinese flavors. By following this guide, you’re not just making a dish; you’re embracing a culinary tradition that spans generations. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious foodie, the journey to perfecting Char Siu Chicken is one of discovery, flavor, and the joy of cooking.

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