Have you ever tasted a classic Cantonese cuisine named char siu? It's a barbecued pork dish known for its sticky and sweet flavor. If it's hardly possible for you to savor this authentic oriental flavor, don’t worry and today we will make your dream come true by creating a western version with the same or even better result. The recipe is named as Sticky-Sweet Grilled Pork Shoulder which was invented by a grill master Aaron Franklin and his team. The key to this recipe is to ensure the pork is fridge-cold when you roast it, so take it straight to the grill after it leaves fridge. 



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2 heads of garlic, cloves separated, peeled

1 wide 6" piece ginger, peeled, chopped

1 cup hoisin sauce

¾ cup fish sauce

⅔ cup honey

⅔ cup Shaoxing (Chinese rice) wine

½ cup chili oil

⅓ cup oyster sauce

⅓ cup toasted sesame oil

1 4–5-lb. skinless boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)

Kosher salt

Glaze and Assembly

¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp. mild-flavored (light) molasses

Bread-and-butter pickles, white bread, cilantro, and rinsed thinly sliced white onion (for serving)



Make marinade. Mash garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, honey, wine, chili oil, oyster sauce, and sesame oil together in a blender until very smooth. Set aside 1½ cups of marinade in a small bowl for glaze, and leave it covered and chilled before ready to use. As for the remaining marinade, pour it into a 2-gal. resealable plastic bag.


Prepare pork. How to cut it properly? Place pork shoulder, fat side down, on a cutting board with a short end facing you. Hold a long sharp knife about 1"–1½" above cutting board and make a shallow cut along the entire length of a long side of shoulder. Continue cutting deeper until it lies flat. Then add it to bag with marinade and seal, and press out air. Work pork around inside bag to make sure it's generously coated with marinade. Then keep it in fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. 


Set the grill at medium heat. Take pork out of the marinade and discard marinade. Lightly season the pork with salt. Fit grill with convection plate and set pork on top. Cover and roast pork until the temperature reads 140°–145° at the thickest part. Next transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. 

Tips: Pork can be roasted 2 days in advance. You can keep it in a fridge; cover it after it becomes cool. 


Prepare glaze. To make glaze, bring brown sugar, molasses, and reserved marinade to a simmer in a large saucepan. You can finish cooking when it's reduced by one-third (normally 6–8 minutes). When the glaze is ready, remember to keep it warm.


Set your grill at medium-high heat. Grill pork, basting and turning with 2 pairs of tongs every minute or so. Generally speaking, it's recommended to cook for 6–8 minutes until the pork is thickly coated with glaze, lightly charred in spots, and warmed through. The temperature should read 130°–145° at the thickest part, and pay attention not to overcook. 


Transfer the pork to a cutting board, slice against the grain and serve with pickles, bread, cilantro, and onion. You will be so delighted after tasting this!

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