• Barbecue pork with prawn fried rice (China Squirrel)

Chinese barbecue pork (or char sui) is usually made with pork neck but we've used pork belly for extra flavour. The colour comes from the dark soy and the charry glaze is due to the hoisin and honey.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (15 votes)


Barbecue pork

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 160 ml light soy
  • 110 g hoi sin sauce
  • 30 ml dark soy sauce
  • 35 ml Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 600 g pork belly, skin removed, flesh cut into 4 cm-wide long strips
  • 2 tbsp honey 



  • 400 g (2 cups) uncooked jasmine rice
  • 750 ml (3 cups) water 
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 100 g peeled prawn meat, roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp sambal (from above)
  • 400 g cold cooked rice
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce (see Note)
  • handful beansprouts
  • handful garlic chives, cut into 5 cm batons
  • 3 tbsp thinly sliced shallots



  • 500 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 g Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 70 g peeled garlic cloves
  • 40 g peeled galangal, finely chopped
  • 50 g dried shrimp
  • 20 g fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 5 g dried long red chillies, deseeded and ground
  • 50 g fresh long red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 100 ml fish sauce (see Note)
  • 50 ml water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 1 hour

Cooling time: 30 minutes

For the barbecue pork, mix all the marinade ingredients, except the pork and the honey, together and massage into the pork. Place in a vacuum-sealable bag and vacuum seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Sous vide the pork at 62ºC for 1 hour 15 minutes (see Note). Remove the pork and allow to cool. 

Preheat oven to 240ºC.

Remove the pork from the bag and drain the marinade, reserving 60 ml (¼ cup). Place the pork on a baking tray and roast until well coloured, basting twice with the reserved marinade.

Remove the pork and use a kitchen blow torch to add extra char to the pork, if you like.

While the pork is still warm, brush with honey.

For the rice, wash the rice in several changes of water until it looks clear. Drain the rice thoroughly. Place the rice and 400 ml water in a heatproof container. Place in a double steamer half-filled with water and steam the rice for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Fluff up the rice with a fork or spatula. Spread the rice out on a tray and leave to cool. (You can cool in front of a fan to speed up the process, if you like.)

Meanwhile, for the sambal, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the following ingredients separately until each is golden: the onion, garlic, galangal and turmeric. Remove each from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Make sure to remove any scraps of the previous ingredient from the oil completely before frying the next ingredient.

Add the dried shrimp and dried chillies to the oil and fry for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

Add the fresh chillies and fry until dark red. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. (You can save the oil for another use or discard).

Place the sugar and fish sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the fried ingredients and cook over low heat for 30 seconds.

Add the water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Blend the mixture to a smooth paste. You will only need 2 tbsp of the sambal. You can store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To finish the rice, heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the prawns and cook until they just start turning opaque.

Add the egg and lightly scramble.

Add the rice and break up clumps with the back of your wok scoop. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the sambal and stir through.

Add the fish sauce and stir through.

Throw in the beansprouts and garlic chives and stir fry 20-30 seconds.

Take off the heat and serve with the shallots strewn over the top.

Slice the pork into 8 mm thick slices to serve alongside the fried rice.


Chef’s notes

• I prefer to use Squid brand fish sauce.

• As an alternative to cooking the pork belly sous vide, heat a saucepan of water to 62ºC and cook the pork at this temperature for 1 hour 15 minutes. You may need a simmer mat to maintain the low heat.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


Frank Shek is the head chef at China Doll. This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.