Siu Mei or
| Siu Mei is a general term literally
meaning 'Fork-Burn/Roast'. Perhaps a better Western
analogy would be 'Barbequed, perhaps on a rotisserie',
although authentic Siu Mei is hung to cook in a hot
If you travel to Hong Kong, then these are the typical
restaurants that have a small Chef enclosure at the
front, with hanging meats and birds in plain or glazed
appearance. This is originally a Mainland Cantonese
specialty, but Hong Kong chef's have taken this into
the world = perfecting what you would know as 'Crispy
Style Duck (or Chicken, Goose, etc)'.
However, a traditional Siu Mei also sells other meats
which include: Yellow style Chicken, Sweet Pork (Bacon
- as pictured right below), and other central dishes
of similar theme.
We will presume you are reading this page because
you want to know how to make 'Crispy Duck', although
Siu Mei specialty restaurants also serve chicken,
goose, and pork done in the same style.
If you do not own a specialist oven within which
to hang these meats for curing, then you should
buy from a proper restaurant - they are everywhere
in Hong Kong and Cantonese Mainland. Beijing Duck
is actually an interesting derivative of this
style of cooking.
Maybe we can emulate these dishes at home?
It is best to start with Pork, either spare ribs
or loin. The same recipe is ideal for chicken,
goose, dove, and smaller preparations such as
chicken wings and drumsticks.
1 Teaspoon - Honey
1 Teaspoon - Five-spice powder
1 Tablespoon - Fermented tofu (red)
1 Tablespoon - Soy sauce
1 Tablespoon - Hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon - Chinese Rice Wine (Sherry is a Western alternative).
Red food colouring (not a traditional ingredient but
very common in today's preparations), which we do not
1. Wash the chicken wings or pork and
leave them to dry for a few minutes.
2. Add the above ingredients to a large
bowl and mix well. Add the meat and marinade for at
least 2-hours, and preferably overnight.
3. Alternatively you could use a store-bought
Char Siu marinade powder, and rub well into the meat
- before mixing and marinating as a sauce (See directions
All these dishes are best cooked using either a barbeque
grill, or a very hot oven (450 degrees C). This is a
serious problem in Chinese kitchens as there are simply
no oven's unless you have purchased a micro oven?
If you have a micro oven, or suitable microwave cooker,
or BBQ alternative; then put a pan of water in the bottom.
Add the meat in a dish to the top rack, and turn up
the heat as high as it can possibly go.
If using a micro-oven, then prop the door open so that
it never quite reaches full heat, and thus tripping
the elements off. You need both infra-red coils glowing
constantly red (Top and Bottom usually).
Roast for up to 1 hour, turning and basting frequently
with the remaining marinade.
1. Add 1 tablespoon of quality oil
to a wok and turn up the heat.Use a high temperature
oil such as Sunflower seed oil, and definitely not Olive
2. Add the meat and marinade juices
(Keeping 1 Tablespoon of marinade back) and stir continuously
3. Turn down the heat to a happy simmer,
cover and leave for 20-30 minutes. Check occasionally
there is still some juice in the wok, and stir before
putting the lid back on.
4. Add the remaining marinade to the
wok and wham up the heat to full blast. Stir like a
dervish until this has coated all the meat, and begins
to form a hard crust - that has not been burned.
5. Add a little liquid honey or plum
sauce poured over the meat and stir - only if the crispness
is not what you desire. At this point you are working
with virtually no liquid in the wok, so be quick to
6. Serve to table.
There are virtually endless variations of this dish,
as each restaurant and chef appears to have their own.
Some common variations are:
Marinade Variations and Additions:
* Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and/or 1 tablespoon
* Substitute 1/2 cup pineapple juice for the hoisin
* Substitute wet bean curd for the hoisin sauce (can
be found in Asian markets).
* Add 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil.
* Add 1 tablespoon hot bean paste for a spicier marinade.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably
supported by our friends and various internet portals.