Pork tenderloin is lean, almost flavorless meat with few redeeming qualities. In some sense, this modernist take on char siu, a traditional Cantonese roasted pork dish, is an attempt to compensate for these flaws. If a tenderloin lacks juiciness, sous vide will preserve as much of that as possible. If it lacks flavor, then we will slather the meat in the mixture of sauces that gives char siu its distinct sweet & savory flavor. For a tastier and more authentic version, substitute tenderloin with pork butt or pork shoulder (refer to sous vide pork shoulder // phở gravy for immersion time). The red food coloring commonly found in Chinese rotisseries is optional.
MODERNIST CHAR SIU.
- 1 boneless pork tenderloin
- ½ cup Hoisin sauce
- 4 tbsp Honey
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup sherry or dry rice wine
- 3-4 tbsp five spice powder
- Red food coloring (optional)
Vacuum seal the pork and immerse in a water bath at 135F for 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare a mixture of ½ cup Hoisin sauce, 4 tbsp honey, 1 cup soy sauce, ½ cup sherry or dry rice wine, and 3-4 tbsp of five spice powder.
Remove the pork from the bag and glaze with the sauce mixture. Sear pork on all sides with a hot cast iron skillet, using a blowtorch for uneven surfaces if necessary.