Char Siu

One of the best things I’ve made in recent memory. And so versatile — planning to use the leftovers in both soup and fried rice.

My recipe is inspired by this one from Nom Nom Paleo but I made some non-paleo ingredient subs.

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½ cup plum, peach or apricot jam, sweetened with fruit juice (I used apricot)
¼ cup coconut aminos (I used soy sauce)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon almond butter (I used peanut butter)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger (a.k.a. ginger powder) (I used a touch of ginger paste)
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
2 teaspoons kosher salt 
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Make the marinade and cool it to room temperature: add the jam, soy sauce, tomato paste, nut butter, honey, fish sauce, Chinese five spice powder, and ginger to a small saucepan. Whisk the marinade as you heat it to a simmer over medium heat.

Once the sauce is smooth and bubbling, transfer it to a measuring cup and cool to room temperature.

Next, prepare the pork. Blot the pork shoulder dry with a paper towel and slice the meat into 2-inch strips of even thickness (I think mine were closer to an inch and it turned out ok). The pork strips should be roughly uniform in size.

Sprinkle the kosher salt all over the pork pieces. Place the pork in a large bowl or zippered storage bag and pour all except ⅓ cup of the cooled marinade onto the pork. Cover the reserved marinade and store in the fridge.

Use your hands to coat the marinade all over the pork strips. Cover the bowl with a silicone lid or plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 2 to 24 hours (I think mine was about a six hour marinade).

Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position. Place the pork on an oven-safe wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, flipping the pork pieces at the halfway point (15 minutes).
Remove the pork from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F.

Brush half of the reserved marinade on the top of the pork pieces. Pour enough water into the bottom of the pan so that you have a thin layer coating the bottom. The water will keep the drippings from burning while the pork cooks.

Roast the pork for 25 minutes, and then flip the pieces over and brush on the remaining marinade. Roast for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the pork is slightly charred on the edges.

Rest the pork for 10 minutes, and then slice against the grain into slices. Arrange the pork on a serving dish and garnish with sliced scallions, and serve. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for 4 months.

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