No need for a trip to Chinatown! Make your own moist and super tender Instant Pot Char Siu (Pressure Cooker Char Siu Chinese BBQ Pork). Eat them fresh out of the oven. The bite full of sweet and savory flavors with slight melty texture will make your taste buds scream for more!
I was super excited as we decide to test this Instant Pot Char Siu Recipe (Chinese BBQ Pork).
Still remember the days that I would do my happy dance when my parents bring home a white Styrofoam box full of these sweet and savory pieces of Char Siu. I could never wait that long until dinner to eat them. 😛
Since, they usually leave them on the dining table as they prepare dinner in the kitchen, my siblings and I would go in stealth mode and gobble up a few pieces, then pretend nothing really happened. lol~ Actually, we weren’t the only ones, because Jacky did the exact same thing!
Now we don’t need to wait for those white Styrofoam boxes of goodies anymore because making Instant Pot Char Siu Chinese BBQ Pork at home is much easier than you’d think.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Char Siu
- Pork butt meat
- Regular soy sauce
- Kosher salt
- BBQ Marinade
Why Pork Butt Meat?
Pork butt meat or Boston butt is one of our favorite cuts of pork. Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to eat the rear end of the pork. 😉 This is actually the upper part of the pig’s shoulder, above the picnic shoulder cut in the front legs.
This cut of pork is marbled with enough fat to keep the meat moist while cooking. So, remember to pick a piece of pork butt that has some nice marble and fat if you want some melty results for your final Char Siu. Plus, pork butt is a relatively budget cut.
That’s why a lot of people like to use it to make BBQ pulled pork. More importantly, it’s one of the most common cuts to make the best Char Siu in Hong Kong.
Make sure you have these tools for making this Instant Pot Char Siu Recipe.
Ziploc bag is used for the marinate the pork with it.
Silicone basting brush: you’ll need to use it to baste and coat the pork with the honey sauce before placing it into the oven.
Testing for Instant Pot Char Siu
We’ve done 3 separate tests before we were satisfied with the results in converting our recipe for the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.
We’ve tried pressure cooking the pork butt meat by submerging it in one cup of water in High Pressure for 18 minutes and Natural Release for 12 minutes.
Results: The Char Siu meat was moist. However, it lacked flavors because the water diluted some of the flavors from the marinade.
We’ve used the steam roasting method: pour one cup of water into the inner pot, place a Vegetable Steamer into the pot and place the pork butt meat in the basket. Then. pressure cook at High Pressure for 18 minutes and Natural Release for 12 minutes.
Results: The Char Siu meat was moist and has stronger flavors than the first result.
We’ve used the steam roasting method with the same timing and release method. However, we’ve mixed one cup of water with the leftover marinade in the ziploc bag as much as we could and poured all the marinade mixture into the pot.
Though the marinade water mixture in the pot won’t touch the meat, the steam inside the pot will be infused with the flavors of the liquid. So when you pressure cook, the steam will force the flavors into the meat. But the flavor enhancements will be mild.
We’ve also seasoned the marinated meat with a pinch of kosher salt on each side to further enhance the flavors.
For Next Time: We want to try injecting some of the marinade into the meat before pressure cooking. hehe~ So, that’s it for now.
Now it’s your turn to take out your pressure cooker and cook some Instant Pot Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)!
Instant Pot Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)
- 1 pound (454g) pork butt meat , split the longer side in half
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) regular soy sauce (Chinese: 生抽酱油)
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- A pinch Kosher salt to season
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) chu hou paste (Chinese: 柱侯醬)
- 2 cubes Chinese fermented red bean curd (Chinse: 南乳)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) char siu sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce) (Chinese: 叉燒醬)
- ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon (2.8g) garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
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- Marinate Pork: Use a fork to poke lots of holes all over the pork as deep as your fork allows. Marinate the pork for 30 minutes to 2 hours in a ziploc bag with air squeezed out. Remove the pork and marinade from the bag. Pour 1 cup (250ml) of water into the Ziploc bag and mix it with the remaining marinade sticking onto the bag.
- Pressure Cook Pork: Pour the marinade mixture in Instant Pot pressure cooker, then place the marinated pork butt meat in a steamer basket in Instant Pot. Season the marinated pork with a pinch of kosher salt on both sides. Close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 18 minutes + 12 minutes Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
- Apply Honey Sauce: Mix 2 tbsp (30 ml) regular soy sauce with honey in a small bowl. *Pro Tip: This sauce is to give some killer sweetness and color to the outer layer of the pork butt meat. Brush this honey sauce generously onto the pork butt meat.
- Broil Pork in Oven: Preheat oven to 450°F. Place pork in oven and broil for roughly 4 - 6 minutes per side until the honey sauce on both sides are browned with some black bits.
- Serve: Serve the tasty char siu with rice or noodles and the leftover honey sauce on the side. Enjoy~ 🙂
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