Easy oriental part 4. Char Sui Roast Pork with Stir Fried Noodles

Char Sui Roast PorkI’m not a big fan of pork fillet. Traditionally, here in Ireland, it would be prepared by slicing it open and pounding it flat with a mallet or rolling-pin. Then it would be filled with a breadcrumb based stuffing, wrapped up and roasted for about an hour longer than needed. The result was always dry, flavourless and, strangely, prized at dinner parties. 

That was all eons ago. Praise be to the passage of time. The world is a smaller place and we have had our eyes opened to the joys of international cuisine. One international favourite from our friends in China not only revives the dry old pork fillet but put it back where it belongs – on the pig’s back. Char Sui Roast Pork is the star of the show in number 4 in my Easy Oriental series. I served it with stir fried noodles.

True to my word, this really is simple to prepare.

Simple ingredients to make a delicious Chinese dish.

Simple ingredients to make a delicious Chinese dish.

Cooking for six people, you will need;

For the roast pork

  • 2 pork fillets
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Hoi Sin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

For the stir fried noodles

  • Enough noodles for 6
  • 3 peppers
  • A handful of spring onions
  • 6 to 8 dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water
  • 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1 small can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic

To prepare the pork, trim any membrane and tendon from the fillets. Pour the wet ingredients into a dish. This sets up a couple of pouring shots;

Thick Hoi Sin sauce gloops it's way out of the jar.

Thick Hoi Sin sauce gloops its way out of the jar.

The dark soy sauce is very thick too.

The dark soy sauce is very thick too.

When you have added all the ingredients, add the pork, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

The mixture gives a lovely red outer layer to the pork.

The mixture gives a lovely red outer layer to the pork.

Bring a big pot of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook until soft. Drain and rinse them. Chop the vegetables and mushrooms into thin strips. Chop the garlic and ginger very small. Heat some olive oil in a wok. Add the garlic and ginger. Fry for 30 seconds then add the vegetables. Stir fry for a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Add the mushrooms and stir until warmed.

It looks like a lot of vegetables but you need lots.

It looks like a lot of vegetables but you need lots.

Add the noodles and stir some more.

It looks like far too much for six. Trust me, it isn't.

It looks like far too much for six. Trust me, it isn’t.

The noodles can be reheated in a couple of minutes. The pork needs to go into a very hot oven at 240ºC or so. Baste it and turn it after 8 minutes. Take it out of the oven at 15 minutes. Let it rest for ten minutes.

This beats the hell out of the old stuffed pork we grew up with.

This beats the hell out of the old stuffed pork we grew up with.

Slice it nice and thin and serve it on top of the noodles. I guarantee satisfaction.

This dish lasted just long enough to grab the photo.

This dish lasted just long enough to grab the photo.

Coming soon to a mobile enabled device near you: Number five in the series, Mapo Tofu, the face numbing speciality from Schezuan Provence. A hot favourite.

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Latest comments
  • “Traditionally, here in Ireland, it would be prepared by slicing it open and pounding it flat with a mallet or rolling-pin.” Having an Irish wife… I hear ya!. A great take on roast pork. Cheers!

    • Thanks Conrad, so many fillets wasted this way…

  • Looks delicious!

  • This looks like a must try! I have always assumed this was a slow cooked pork dish ( not set why lol ) simply must give it a go now – have some lovely fillet in the oven just waiting for a new idea 🙂 thanks!

    • Excellent. You will not be disappointed.

  • That looks so authentic – great work. Your presentation shots are vying with those pouring photos. Looks lovely, and no doubt tasty too.

    • Thanks Adam,
      Using the three plates with lots of shiny bits makes the difference!

  • That’s dinner sorted for tomorrow evening! Delicious Conor.

    • Great. Let me know how it goes, please.
      Conor

  • This is me salivating.
    What kind of noodles did you use? Egg?

    • Yes, the thicker egg ones. Not as fat as the delicious Udons but fatter than the skinny ones, if you know what I mean?

  • Great post, Conor. Love the photos and the recipe. This is a perfect weeknight meal. Now, I just need to get some more pork tenders. 🙂

    • A great standby dish, if you have the pork in the freezer.

  • Lovely pictures and food!

    • Thanks Rosemary, the multi-plating helps a lot.

  • looking great! and you did make it very easy 🙂 when I made it, I used a big piece of pork roast and slowly roasted it for a few hours, so it’s not suitable for a weeknight meal. looking forward to the Mapo Tofu! It is the only way I will happily eat tofu and have made a few variations of it, but I am still tweaking the recipe a little bit!

    • Try it with the loin. It is lovely. The maps tofu is a treat.

  • good work as always, conor. as a man who does his best to consume a nigh unhealthy amount of char sui, i can say that yours looks absolutely divine. just seeing your photos makes me yearn for an oven so i can make my own.

    • I have done it on the barbecue too. I think it is better that way.

  • That hoisin is the real deal – not like the thin stuff you find in Tesco. And i love that fuzzt focus bottle of Stella in the background…

    • There is no point in buying the Oriental ingredients in the supermarket. They invariably are poor imitations of the real deal, altered for our taste-neutral Western palate and given an Asian sounding name.

      The Stella is the genuine article too!

  • Amazing. I want this for my dinner.

    • Thanks Harriet, and thanks for popping by.
      Best,
      Conor

  • I love pork fillet though I’ve never understood why people overcook it – you wouldn’t do that to a fillet steak! This looks delicious, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Linda,
      There is a rich and long tradition of totally overcooking pork in this country. It goes back to the days when undercooked pork could kill you. I suspect it could do likewise today. Cooked yes. Overcooked no!

  • Char sui is my favorite from the local take out place and I’ve never been able to get close to it. Perhaps… 🙂 Another great post!

  • Thanks, Conor, for today’s lesson. I shy away from cooking Chinese foods because most are a mystery to me, one that I cannot seem to fathom. This is something I can do. All I need to do is find the ingredients. Famous last words …

    • John, I can see you wandering into the Asian supermarket and getting distracted by all the wonderful new ingredients. You would come out with lots of stuff that you ‘had to have’ and would end up cooking something completely different. However, it would be the beginning of a great Italian / Chinese adventure for you.
      Go for it!

  • Okay, now THIS some real comfort food as well. Love the pouring shots, as usual. I’ve never cooked with dark soy sauce before — I love how thick it is — I’m wondering where I’ll be able to find it here in the states. Hmm, I sense a weekend field trip coming on.

    • It’s hard to go into an Asian supermarket and only buy the stuff you went in to get. You have been warned.
      Best,
      Conor

  • Hi there Conor! What a fun post and something that is very dear to the Cantonese region and HK Char Sui. My boys love it but is is traditional made with a fattier portion of pork so I so love your version light and lean tenderloin. I have not marinated with the bean sauce so will have to give that a try. Take Care, BAM

    • Thanks BAM. It is very simple to prepare and suits the fat fearing westerners.

  • Completely agree about pork fillet and likewise, this and a schnitzel is all I ever do with it. Char siu pork is a superb ingredient though. To use up a large jar of ageing Hoisin, I made a few of these and froze it for later. Worked out well using it in stir-fries.

    • That is a great idea Phil. It makes for a very tasty ingredient.

  • I’m jumping all over in this series. All of these recipes are fantastic!

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