Chinese New Year which begins on 16th February is a time for big family celebrations in China and Hong Kong and actually a quarter of the world. Each Chinese year is associated with an animal sign and this coming year is the Year of the Dog, an animal that symbolises luck, which must be good news.
There are many different foods that are eaten traditionally and I am not sure that my version of Char Sui pork skewers is one. However, I have adapted this recipe from a delicious dish that my lovely daughter in law gave us one evening. She is from Hong Kong, so I am guessing the original was pretty authentic. I hope you like my canape version of it.
2 pork steaks
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
For the marinade:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
0.5 tsp sesame oil
2 tbs runny honey
1 tbs soft brown sugar
2 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
0.5 tbs soy sauce
5g grated ginger
1 extra tbsp honey to add to the marinade when cooking the meat.
10cm piece of cucumber
Cut the meat into chunks 2 x 2.5cm or similar, discarding the very fatty bits. Rub in the 5 spice.
Combine the marinade ingredients and mix in the meat. Leave covered in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but up to 48 hours.
A few hours before cooking the meat, the skewers can be prepared. Peel the cucumber and then take 10cm thin strips off it using a vegetable peeler. Concertina the cucumber strips neatly and secure with a skewer.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 160°c, take the meat carefully out of the marinade and place it on a parchment lined baking tray.
Stir the extra honey into the remaining marinade, heat and let it boil for a few minutes and reserve.
Cook the meat for 10 minutes at 160°c. Brush with marinade, turn the meat and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn oven up to 190°c, brush the pork with more marinade, turn it and cook a further 5 - 10 minutes. Don't let it burn.
For a vegetarian version: makes about 30
1 sweet potato (about 350g)
3tbs char sui sauce
Heat the oven to 180°
Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1.5 cm cubes.
Brush with the char sui sauce and bake for 10 minutes.
Brush with some more sauce and cook a further 10 minutes. Check they don't burn.
Season with a little salt, grate some lemon zest over and serve.
Tofu can also be marinaded and cooked in the same manner as the pork.