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Char siu pork tenderloin


Vietnamese version (bản tiếng Việt): click here!

A few weeks ago, I made a review post on char siu mix/sauces that are available in Arizona. Briefly, there are 3 char siu products in Arizona, and I mentioned also how char siu meat looked like if we use the char siu mix or the char siu sauce from Private selection. That pink color (from NOH char siu mix) is such a weird color and I still find it funny till now. I re-upload the “evidence” here and you still can see the “pink” color, even though I have tried to adjust with red food coloring.

A salad bowl with char siu chicken marinate from NOH Char siu mix and adjusted with Private Selection® Char siu sauce, honey, soy sauce and red food coloring. The taste wasn’t bold enough to eat with hot rice so I had the chicken in salad instead.

But let’s forget the NOH mix and Private Selection char siu sauce! Today’s spotlight would be on the Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce, which my boyfriend and I have tried so many times with pork and chicken, and they all came out as perfect char siu meat, from both visual and taste. The picture at the top of this post is the char siu pork tenderloin and the one at the end is the char siu chicken breast. Both were grilled on the propane grill.

Credits (and loves) to my boyfriend for helping me with the grills!

Ingredients: (for 6-8 servings)


Total time: 24-48 hours (for marinating) + 35 minutes (for grilling)

The char siu chicken breast grilled by my boyfriend, following my advice on marinating.

Notes: For your information, I include some of the videos showing how to make char siu marinade sauce from starch. I find the sauce convenient at this point so I don’t attempt to make it from starch, but in the future, I may. Also, I really love that many chefs appreciate Vietnamese and Asian cuisine in general, I’m so touched by that!

From Marion’s Kitchen
From Joshua Weissman
From “Auntie” Liz

Hope you enjoy this super short and “quick” char siu recipe!


Char siu pork tenderloin

It’s a demonstration of Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce with pork tenderloin on the propane grill. And I’m totally satisfied with the outcome! Credit to my boyfriend for helping me with grilling!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword char siu, chicken, pork
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 373kcal


  • 1 Propane grill


  • 3 lbs Pork tenderloin (or chicken thighs, breasts)
  • 1 jar Lee Kum Kee Char siu sauce (14-oz jar)
  • 5 cloves Garlic (optional, can be replace by garlic powder)
  • 1 clove Shallot (optional, can be replace by onion powder)
  • 2 tsp Corn starch (or tapioca flour)
  • 1 tbsp Water


  • Finely chop the garlic and shallot. Pork tenderloin in the US is usually sold as long… strip so cut the pork tenderloin into smaller pieces (around 3-inch long).
  • Marinating: In a large zipper bag (or a large baking pan, a large container), add the chopped shallot and garlic, the cut pork tenderloin and all of the char siu sauce from the jar. Half close the zipper bag and massage the meat so that it absorbs the sauce as well as flavor from garlic and shallot. Marinate for at least 24-48 hours.

Grilling (after at least 24h of marinating):

  • Preheat the propane grill, and when the grill is hot (the temperature shown on the grill should be ~550 F), lower the heat on half the grill as low as it can but still be on and place the marinated meat on the grill with the lower flame (don’t forget to close the lid). After 15 minutes flip the meat onto the other side of the grill and flip which burners are low and high, continue to grill for 15 minutes more (with lid close). The meat should be cooked using indirect heat with the lid closed, but by switching the sides of the grill you get some amazing grill marks.
  • Making sauce for basting: Bring the leftover marinade to a gentle boil (on medium heat) and remove the scums float on the surface. Make a slurry from 2 teaspoon of corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan then add to the boiling marinade with constantly stirring until the sauce is thickened consistently. (This step is done while the meat is on the grill, takes about 5 minutes). Alternatively, you can save some of the Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce and use it for basting.
  • When the meat is almost cooked, brush the basting sauce on and let it on the grill for 5 minutes more. The final temperature of the inside should be around 150- 155F (~65.6 – 68.3 C). For chicken, it would be ~160- 165F (~71.1 – 73.9 C). Be careful in this step as the meat could be burnt easily.


  • When the meat is done, serve with noodles, hot rice, bread or salad.
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