Air Fryer Char Siu [Chinese BBQ Pork]

Char siu but make it easy! This air fryer char siu recipe is for all my lazy potatoes out there that want restaurant quality char siu without having to put in extra time and effort. My dad, who is from Hong Kong, approved of this recipe so you know it has to be good!!

This recipe is pretty effortless starting from the sauce. I personally think using Lee Kum Kee’s char siu sauce is so much better than making the sauce from scratch. I added a few extra ingredients to the char siu sauce to make it extra tasty so I highly recommend giving this a try!

I love using the air fryer for this because it cuts down the cooking time by more than half, which is *amazing*. It only takes 12-14 minutes to cook, making this quick, easy, and approachable. Alternatively, you can cook it in the oven which will take a little more time. Bake the char siu at 425F/220C for 40-45 minutes while basting with the honey marinade every 15 minutes. Broil for 10 minutes or until charred.

5 from 10 votes

Air Fryer Char Siu

Servings 4 people
Prep Time 1 d 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 1 d 22 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder or pork belly

Sauce Marinade

  • 5 tbsp char siu sauce Lee Kum Kee brand
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper powder

Honey Marinade

  • 2 tbsp sauce marinade from above
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp water

Instructions

  • Cut the pork into 1 inch thick slices. Using a fork, stab the pork on all sides to tenderize and allow the marinade to penetrate deeper.
  • In a bowl, mix the sauce marinade ingredients together.
  • In another bowl, set aside 2 tbsp of the sauce marinade. Add honey and water and mix well. This honey marinade will be used to baste the pork while it's cooking.
  • In a Ziploc bag or container, add the pork and sauce marinade. Rub the marinade into the pork to coat well. Let it marinate in the fridge for 12-24 hours (the longer the better!).
  • Preheat the air fryer at 400F/205C. Place the marinated pork in the air fryer making sure there is enough space on all sides.
  • Cook for 3 minutes, then baste with the honey marinade. Flip and baste the other side. Cook for another 3 minutes. Repeat 2 more times. Cook for a total of 12 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your pork, you may need to cook it for another minute or two.
  • Remove the char siu from the air fryer and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • *Optional* Save the sauce drippings from the bottom of the air fryer pan/tray and pour it over the cooked char siu.
  • Serve with jasmine rice and your favorite vegetables!

Notes

  1. To cook in the oven, bake the char siu at 425F/220C for 40-45 minutes while basting with the honey marinade every 15 minutes. Broil for 10 minutes or until charred.
  2. Feel free to substitute pork shoulder with pork belly.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Cantonese, Chinese

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe for the air fryer charge char Sui. I’m definitely going to try this tomorrow, it looks absolutely lovely. Thanks by the way do you happen to have a similar Do you happen to have a recipe on how to prepare Chinese roast duck? I have tried and failed to cook duck the way you can get it in Hong Kong restaurants

    1. 5 stars
      Hi John!! I hope the char siu came out delicious! I don’t have a Chinese roast duck recipe just yet but I’ll be sure to add it on my list for you 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Lovely

  3. Patrick Joseph O'Reilly Wingert says:

    5 stars
    Making the sauce from scratch has a couple of advantages over using the Lee Kum Kee version. The first is quantity. I am a solo cook making meals for myself. I need recipes that I can scale down from 8 portions to one or two easily. I am in an economy-subsidised apartment and have a very small freezer in my fridge so preserving it is less easily done. The second is I find many of the commercial sauces because they are both marinade and a sauce are often over salted. I have a kidney condition which makes me very considerate of the salt levels in my food. I often end up trading my salt allocation salt around from high-salt recipes into lower-salt recipes from one dish to another to balance out my intake to a given quantity of salt per week. It is also a very low amount. I aim for a maximum of 6 grams or just under a teaspoon’s worth per day. When I can, I aim for three grams or less when I can manage it between days’ worth of meals and snacks. I can’t control it enough with a commercial sauce. I end up having to remove salt in other entire meals to adjust for the amount of salt in a commercial sauce to meet my targets. It’s really hard to remove salt in a marinade and very difficult to salt it correctly when you are making smaller quantities.

  4. 5 stars
    Hiya – just wondering if I was to get pork belly. How would I go about doing this if I also wanted to get crackling? Crispy pork

    1. 5 stars
      Hiya Jem! I’m working on an air fryer crispy pork belly recipe as we speak. Stay tuned – I think you’re going to love it 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe 3 times and every time everyone loves it! My dad who grew up in Hong Kong said it’s the closest flavour to his childhood memory! 10/10

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Keith, I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed this recipe! My dad is also from Hong Kong and I made sure to get his stamp of approval before sharing this recipe hehe ^^

  6. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! Thanks for sharing! Cooked in the oven as I tripled the recipe. Turned out so yummy. Didn’t have cooking wine so I subbed chicken stock and worked well. Thanks again!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Hazel! SO happy that it turned out yummy! 🙂

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