I have been craving for this for a while now so this thing has been on my list for as long too. I had much hesitation over it as I am not good with meats and char siew sounds terribly daunting to make. This week, I finally buckled up the courage to attempt it. It was turned out to be the most delicious char siew I have for a long, long time. By the way, in case you are wondering why it isn’t red, it is because I did not use any red coloring. I think it is really not necessary despite it being tradition.
I am very glad to have discovered Lily’s Wai Sek Hong and her recipe for char siew. Without this recipe, I would not get to feast on these wonderfully yummy noodles with the most succulent and flavorful char siew.
For this recipe, I used a whole chicken breast so there was plenty of char siew to go around for 2 adults and a toddler. The char siew recipe is adapted from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong. Click here for the original recipe.
For the Char Siew
500g chicken breast
2 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce/hoisin sauce
2 tsp soya sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp wine, I used red wine
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Glaze the char siew with:
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp oil
For the garlic oil vegetables
2 romaine lettuces or greens of your choice, washed and cut
2 pips garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
3 tbsp of oil
Water for boiling
For the noodles
Asian noodles of your choice, preferably wanton noodles or thin egg noodles
Sauce to go with noodles (per portion):
1 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Dash of white pepper
1. Prepare marinate by putting all marinate ingredients in a bowl and stirring it with a spoon to mix well. Place chicken meat in a container or a bag and cover it with marinate. Refrigerate the meat and marinate overnight. I marinated mine for 2 nights.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Place meat and marinate in a roasting pan and cover it with foil. Bake for 20 mins. Remove foil and continue baking untill the gravy has thickened and is coating the meat. Remove from oven and brush the glaze generously all over the char siew. Grill the char siew for 5 mins to give it a shine. Once done, remove from oven and let it sit for 5-10 mins before slicing.
3. While waiting for the char siew to cook, heat oil and fry garlic till golden and crispy in a saucepan. Pour everything into a bowl and set aside. Using the same saucepan, fill it up with water till 3/4 full. Bring water to boil and blanch cut lettuce for 1 min. Remove lettuce and set aside. You may season it if you prefer to. I do not as the lettuce will derive flavor from the noodles later.
4. When the char siew is done, prepare noodles per instructions on the package. I used the same saucepan with the water used for blanching lettuce. Prepare as much noodles as you need. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce by putting all sauce ingredients into serving plates. The portion stated is enough sauce for 1 serving of noodles. If you have 2 persons eating, prepare the same sauce amount for every serving plate. Once noodles are done, scoop onto the prepared plates with sauce. Toss well to get the sauce coated in every strand of the noodles.
5. To plate up, arrange lettuce leaves at the side of noodles. Drizzle with garlic oil and get some of the crispy garlic on it too. Arrange sliced char siew on top and drizzle gravy from the roasting pan all over the char siew. You can also serve the remainder of the char siew gravy for those who would like an extra helping of the gravy.
6. Once done, grab your chopsticks and enjoy 🙂