Asian BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe

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Eat the Week: Every meal, every dayIf you want your BBQ pork to have the distinctive red colour of the pork you get in Chinatown, add a couple of teaspoons of red food colouring to the marinade, syrup and sauce. It’ll taste just as good without it, though. Serve with egg fried rice or plain old jasmine rice and some stir-fried greens.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 (or 2 with leftovers)
  • Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 7 Hours


  • 3 lb 5 oz (1.5 kg) pork belly, in one piece
  • lime halves, chopped coriander (cilantro), red chilli slices, toasted black sesame seeds and sticky BBQ sauce, to serve
  • 5 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • handful of coriander (cilantro) roots, chopped
  • 3 red Asian shallots, finely chopped
  • big chunk of ginger (about 15 cm/6 in), bruised and roughly chopped
  • big chunk of galangal (about 12 cm/4½ in), bruised and roughly chopped
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
  • 5½ oz (150 g) caster (superfine) sugar
Basting Syrup
  • 5 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
How to Make It
  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a large casserole dish with 1.5 litres (6 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10–15 minutes, then leave to cool completely. Add the pork and marinate overnight in the fridge.
  2. The next day, preheat the oven 250°C (500°F/gas mark 9) and make the basting syrup by combining all the ingredients.
  3. Remove the pork from its marinade and pat dry. Place in a roasting tin and roast for 25 minutes or until the fat starts to blister. Turn the oven down to 160°C (315°F/gas mark 2–3) and cook for at least 3 hours, or up to 7 hours. Turn the meat every 2–3 hours and, during the last hour, turn and baste the pork every 10–15 minutes. When it’s ready, the skin should be crispy; if it’s not, blast it under a hot grill for a few minutes before serving.
  4. Shred the pork and serve with lime, coriander, chilli and sesame seeds. Drizzle a little sticky BBQ sauce over the meat, then pour the remaining sauce into a jug so people can help themselves.

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