(I thought the earlier picture was anemic looking, so the next time I made this roast pork, I took another picture!) This is the home version of the traditional red roast pork found in Chinese restaurants all over the world. I like it with a stronger anise flavor so I’ve added a clove of star anise and Sichuan peppercorns to the marinade. In Chinatown, specialty shops sell barbecued duck, crackling pork, and, red roast pork. Their wares hang in the shop windows, shiny with grease and stippled with fat. No words need convey the deliciousness of these barbecued and roasted meats. A pound of this red roast pork costs $9.00 in New York’s Chinatown. My homemade version: $5.00.
Chinese roast pork (adapted from: The Gourmet Chinese Regional Cookbook)
1 lb pork tenderloin, excess fat and the silver removed
2 T brown bean sauce, mashed
2 t minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
1 clove star anise
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
Put all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat ingredients until sugar is just melted. Cool slightly. Put pork in a pan and pour marinade over pork. Refrigerate overnight. On baking day, let stand 3-6 hours at room temperature, turning occasionally. Remove from marinade and discard the marinade. Bake at 350˚ for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Let the meat rest 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with rice or noodles.
Cook’s Note: I’ve upped the food coloring to make it a deeper red and made it optional because not everyone likes to color their food. It depends on if you want traditional or not!