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Chicken Char Sui the OG way

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Char Siu Sauce Ingredients:

· ½ Cup Soy Sauce

· 1/2 Cup Honey

· 1/2 Cup Ketchup

· 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

· ¼ Rice Wine Vinegar

· 2 TBS Hoisin Sauce

· ½ TSP Red Food Coloring (or 2 TSP red bean curd)

· 1 TSP Chinese 5 spice powder (optional)

Chicken Ingredients:

· 8-12 Bone-in Chicken Thighs

· Non-stick cooking spray (like Pam)

Sauce Cooking Method:

1. In a small to medium sized sauce pan over high heat, combine all your ingredients and mix thoroughly. The sauce should thicken slightly after a few minutes. Take it off the heat and put it in the refrigerator until it completely cooled. Take half the sauce and all of the chicken and toss them together in a 1 to 2 Gallon sized Ziploc bag, making sure all of the chicken gets coated.

2. About 20-25 minutes prior to serving, heat the grill to its highest high setting.

3. Lightly spray each thigh with the non-stick spray. Dust the chicken with Spice Spice Baby’s OG Rub.

4. Place the skin side down on the hottest part of the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the grill down to low and switch the chicken from the hot part of the grill to the part farthest away, turning the chicken to skin side up. Cover the grill and cook on low temperature for 15-20 minutes. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 155 Degrees F, brush the remaining sauce onto the chickens, cover and continue heating until they are fully cooked. (an internal temperature of 165 F at the thickest part of the meat).


One of the hot new trends in Culinary arts is Chinese BBQ. The term Char Siu in Chinese literally means: fork burn/roast-'Char' being fork (both noun and verb-in this case it refers to the spit fork used on open grills in China) and Siu being burn/roast-after the traditional cooking method for the dish. While the term Char Siu almost always refers to pork BBQ I wanted to convert the flavor and method of Chinese BBQ cooking to be Kosher-friendly. Here I have adapted it to chicken that can be cooked on the grill. When I make this at home I serve it with grilled asparagus or broccoli. I use bone-in chicken thighs for the recipe but feel free to adapt it to boneless skinless chicken as well.

I have several Chinese style BBQ sauces I like to make, they are surprisingly simple to create and very adaptable to American grilling techniques. The sauce I present in this recipe can be made in advance and is a (mostly) traditional version of the sauce. If you can find Kosher red bean curd, you can substitute it for the food coloring-that is the only ingredient substitution I make regularly to the sauce. In China, the distinct red color of the BBQ comes from the bean curd, not food coloring.

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