Gluten-Free Chinese “Barbecue” Pork

When I first had to go gluten-free, I thought about all the things I missed. Amongst the general thing most people miss, bread, pasta, convenience… I missed ladles full of vegetables and nuts swimming in a sea of brown sauce over greasy chow mein noodles, neon red sauce for dunking crisp egg rolls, and annoyingly bright red char siu.

Char siu is different everywhere. I have tried it so many ways, at so many restaurants, made by so many methods. Sometimes it’s made with pork loin, butt, sometimes pork belly. I have been working on this recipe for awhile, based on a lot of online resources. I think I have arrived at a recipe that isn’t too involved, and isn’t too complex.

chinese babecue pork gluten free


I finish this on the grill, but after the braise, you could easily chop it up and sauté it in a non-stick skillet with the remaining sauce until it thickens and coats the pork.*

  • 3 lbs pork butt or pork belly
  • 8 ounces hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

Combine all ingredients except pork, whisk them together.



Brush the pork with an even coating of the sauce and reserve the rest for later. Allow this to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.



Preheat oven to 250 degrees F, and braise for an hour, covered. It should look like this…



I finished mine off on a grill, high heat, brushing with the reserved sauce and turning as it caramelized. This takes a long time, but the end result is worth it! You could also do this under your oven broiler, constantly turning and brushing until you run out of sauce.




*This is a much faster road to char siu bliss. ;)

About the Author

Francesca Hinojosa

Francesca Hinojosa trained in French culinary technique with multiple years of experience with gluten-free, vegan, and special diet cooking. She believes in sustainable foods and scratch cooking, to nourish the heart, body, and soul.

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