This is my bastardized version of the chinese bbq Char-siu. I changed up a few things and techniques and added a few things but it’s pretty close. Plus it’s pork belly. Cherry wood smoked pork belly. So there. I’ve omitted the food coloring that gives traditional char-siu that neon red color. The kind you see hanging in shops in various China Towns across the US and I can only guess in the motherland as well. That just freaks me out a bit. I also chose to smoke it over cherry wood. Most recipes you’ll see for this do not involve any smoke but I’m from the damn south. If it’s pork and there’s a smoker available I’m likely to combine the two. Avoid the heavy hardwood smoke like hickory or mesquite, it will just overpower everything. Try and stick to fruit tree wood like apple or cherry. You can make this with various cuts of pork but my advice is to use something with some fat. A tenderloin or loin will just be to dry for this preparation and you might end up with something between extremely overcooked pork leather and bbq tree bark. Pork Belly is my preferred cut as it will stand up to the smoker and will give you that unctuous fatty mouth feel that goes so well with BBQ of all kinds. This preparation can be used a number of ways. In a bastardized banh-mi with pickled vegis, in steamed buns, in a noodle dish like ginger scallion or a ramen with broth, or over your favorite scented rice. Or just crammed in your mouth by the sticky smokey handful, which you may find yourself doing. So grab your buddy and a sixer of beer and have at it.
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