How To Make Char Siu-Style Pork Tenderloin At Home

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Make a smoky, sweet pork tenderloin with inspiration from Southern China.

Anyone familiar with Cantonese cuisine knows and loves the honey-lacquered roasted pork that is char siu. For those of us who don’t have vertical ovens to roast our own char siu, ChefSteps has the answer via sous-vide. They paired up with chef Gregory Gourdet to recreate the Chinatown favorite at home by cooking pork tenderloin sous vide with a marinade then finishing it on the grill to get a nice, smoky char. Check out the full recipe below.

Char Siu-Style Pork Tenderloin


  • 1 pork tenderloin, whole
  • 118 grams honey
  • 5 grams five-spice powder
  • 5 grams smoked paprika
  • 4.5 grams white pepper
  • 40 grams Shaoxing rice wine
  • 5.5 grams sesame oil
  • 150 grams hoisin
  • 33 grams molasses
  • 50 grams garlic, minced


The tenderloin needs little time on the grill. You don't want to overcook it!
The tenderloin needs little time on the grill. You don’t want to overcook it!


  1. Preheat Joule/sous vide to 136°F/58°C.
  2. Make your marinade. Combine all the marinade ingredients (that’s everything other than the tenderloin) in a bowl and stir thoroughly. This mix will serve as your marinade and your finishing sauce.
  3. Divide pork into two, evenly-sized portions and place in the bag. Add a light coating of marinade, reserving about a quarter of it for serving. Lower your bagged pork into the water with Joule, and go make some side dishes or something!
  4. When the pork has finished cooking, remove it from the bag. Either allow it to dry for a few minutes or pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the pork with oil and transfer to a very hot grill. Glaze with the marinade left in the bag. When the surface of the meat looks nice and charred, flip and repeat, then remove from grill. Remember, your pork is already perfectly cooked, so keep your sear as quick as you can!
    Chef’s Tip: Gourdet likes to add the reserved marinade to a pan and heat it on the grill as the pork sears. Cooking the sauce in this way will mellow things out by removing some of the sharp, raw-garlic flavor.
  5. Pour the remaining sauce over your grilled pork, slice, and serve.

ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps’ Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee of $39. Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!

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