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Palm Sugar No Bake Char Siu - Bellygood # 3

Friday, July 13, 2012

My husband's family are big Char Siu lovers.

Last year early in October, I organized a dinner over at my home for some close relatives who missed our house warming party and cooked 5 dishes 1 soup. I had no help this time, so I must plan my menu carefully. Since this pork dish is the favourite of many who will be coming and I can cook this ahead of time, I decided to make this. It's perfect because I will  have time for other dishes that needs to be cooked as near to dinner time as possible.

Sometime ago I saw two bloggers (Lena and HKChoo) making char siu with palm sugar with the same recipe from a local magazine. I wonder how is the taste like..
So I substituted the regular sugar in the recipe that I have been using all the time to palm sugar and added in pandan leaves in place of Chinese rose wine for the smell factor.

Palm Sugar No Bake Char Siu
Recipe source: WendyinKK

600gm pork belly, 1.5cm thick slices
80gm palm sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 blades of pandan leaf, shredded

1. Arrange belly slices into a heavy based pot (big pot with wide base surface is preferred rather than small pot).
2. Add everything except plam sugar. Put enough water to cover the belly.
3. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for 20 minutes. (Lid on)
4. Flip the belly over and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Flip the belly pieces again.
5. Put in palm sugar and reduce gravy until it's thick like honey. (Lid off. Use medium heat and watch the char siu closely to prevent burning)
6. Let the char siu cool in pot. Slice when it has totally cooled down.

*I cooked this 6 hours ahead of dinner time : )

37 lovely notes:

Jess @ Bakericious July 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM  

Wendy, I am a char siew lover too! Yours looks really tempting, I hope I can try this recipe soon.

Veronica @ Minty’sKitchen July 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM  

Must be delicious especially with the fragrant of the palm sugar. Well done! Bet your guests must have finished everything you served that day.

Family First July 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM  

Do you slice them before or after they are cooked pls?

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM  

Sadly they didn't and me and hubby had to eat the leftovers. They had some of the local food before coming over. When it's entertaining, although we know they don't eat much, but still the spread has to be good enough and looks generous.

Family First,
It's big slices when they are cooked, and sliced small, bite-sized when done. Like how you see the char siew beiong sold.

Mel July 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM  

This Char Siew is easy to make! No bake means "saves electricity" hee....hee....!!!

Jaques,  July 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM  

WOW, look like those sold in HK..=)

Jeannie Tay July 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM  

Going to the market tomorrow, see if I can get a nice cut of pork belly:D Looks yummy! Do you like the pandan smell in the char siew?

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM  

yaya, and I prefer to clean a pot than the oven, kekeke

LOL, But I'm sure they don't use palm sugar.

frankly, not much detectable, maybe everything is so fragrant oredi.. but you know how pandan complements gula melaka right? Maybe not much discernable, but I'm sure it does enhance the smell.

Kimmy July 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM  

Wendy, not only me like this, my entire family and friends will too. Will definitely try.. Thanks

Too Mai lin,  July 13, 2012 at 2:12 PM  

Do u think we can do this with chicken, I don't take pork . No, I'm not a muslim

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover July 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM  

My family is opposite, they do not appreciate char Siew much if compare with Siew Yok . But one day I want to try my hand making it so I can use to make char Siew Pau which in this case my family like it, hehehe ..

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM  

Hope everybody will like your charsiu ;)

Too Mai Lin,
Boneless whole legs/chicken chop cuts will work well here. The cooking time will not be as long.

different families, different right? Sometimes in the same family got so many different tastebuds.

Sin,  July 13, 2012 at 4:05 PM  

Wendy, love your Yummy recipes!

Han Annie,  July 13, 2012 at 4:19 PM  

The presence of palm sugar create a dark, rich trecle-like sauce. Pandan leave is nicknamed Asian-vanilla as it lend a beautiful fragrance.

Way way better than the store bought jar. I have to try this tomorrow.

Thank you Wendy for sharing.


Abbygail's July 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM  

Sifu tq for saving my me from cracking my head on friday the 13th. Was just about to plan for tonite's dinner when I saw ur post ;)

Fern @ To Food With Love July 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM  

I love charsiew especially if it's got a good layer of fat on it...:p This looks really good!

Anonymous,  July 13, 2012 at 9:31 PM  

Hi Wendy,
Can I ask you which version you prefer? This (palm sugar + pandan) or your previous version (white sugar + wine)?

Jes's Deli Corner July 13, 2012 at 10:50 PM  

Must try this next week..easily to clean than oven. Yum yum

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 14, 2012 at 1:25 AM  


Han Annie,
Hope u like this

How was dinner then?

I still prefer the old version.

with ur AMC pots, this is easy peasy

Esther@thefussfreechef July 14, 2012 at 11:02 AM  

Oh i MUST try this, sounds like a perfect fuss free recipe! Thanks for sharing. No bake, no pan fry, just stew in pot. Beauty!

Esther@thefussfreechef July 14, 2012 at 11:03 AM  

And i just realise one more thing, no marinade either. Wah!

Honey Bee Sweets July 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM  

I love char siew also! Sweet and juicy and porky, lol! But usually I go for the leaner version, heehee. But you know this is the first time I see using 三层肉 to make char siew...I thought usually use pork loin?

Abbygail's July 14, 2012 at 3:32 PM  

Here you go Wendy . Tq for the recipe . I simply love this fuss free dish ... ;)

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM  

wow u are reall fast to try this out.
Sadly the link is not working.
Can u give me another link? The general public link?

Abbygail's July 15, 2012 at 12:16 AM  

Hi Wendy, so sorry about the link . I think I accidentally paste the wrong link . ;) Here you go : http://abbygailskitchen.blogspot.com/2012/07/no-bake-char-siu-my-happy-dinner-begins.html

Hwa,  July 16, 2012 at 12:18 AM  

Harlo, was the original recipe from the famous cuisine magazine ? Instead of palm sugar n pAndanleaves, wat can I use as I can't find it where I live. Thanks

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 16, 2012 at 12:41 AM  

No. The recipe is my own. I always credit my recipes accordingly.
Sorry I have no idea about the magazine. Rarely buy any or look at any.
Please refer to the link provided in the 2nd paragraph highlighted in red "the recipe" for the original boiled version inspired by my Grandmother in law.

lena July 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM  

tell you..this one no curry..i will also get ready a big plate of rice..only make sure my pork is half fatty one..best! i actually quite like the palm sugar version.

Anonymous,  July 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM  

Hi Wendy,
I actually don't eat char siu all becoz i had a forbia with the colouring which most of the stall selling outside there...however, with this recipe, i am sure i'm going to like this home made char siu (my own hand cook it..thanks for the recipe..will post and share with you soon!
Patricia Tan

Lite Home Bake July 19, 2012 at 1:34 PM  

Just wanted to let you know i tried this last weekend and it was bellygood indeed! My family loved it! Thanks

Yan,  July 22, 2012 at 6:18 PM  


I tried this recipe yesterday, and it was sooooooooooooo yummy, it smells great! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! Salute!

Kimmy July 23, 2012 at 3:30 PM  

Wendy, tried the char siew and had my friends to taste it. All gives the thumbs up. TQ

Chris,  July 24, 2012 at 5:01 PM  

Thank You Wendy for this No bake Char Siu recipe, cooked today and it's YUMMY!

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 25, 2012 at 1:18 AM  

Lite Home Bake,Yan, Kimmy and Chris,
Thanks for all the feedback and I'm very very happy that this recipe has gotten the thumbs up from all who tasted it.

Yen,  November 9, 2012 at 12:23 AM  

Thank u very much for sharing ur recipe Wendy! I tried it today n my family love it so much! I even called up my mom n share tis recipe with her. I promised her tat i will cook this for her soon. Thanks again for ur wonderful recipe! I m now a fan of yours! :D

Anonymous,  July 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM  

Hi Wendy,
I tried out this recipe yesterday. Surprisingly simple and yummilicious! Took me less than 2hrs to complete. Thanks for the sharing your recipes and methods.


Jeana,  January 23, 2015 at 9:42 AM  

Dear Wendy,

Thank you for your fabulous recipe! My family loves it! Cook it for a family event and all the family members compliment it ' SUper NICE'! Better than bak Kwa! Guessed the gravy is very SWEET because I added 2pcs of gula malaka on top of brown sugar...ke..keke..


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