Primal Char Siu (Chinese Roast Pork)
A few years back, I was on a carrot-ginger dressing kick. But with all my salad creations (just ask my hubby, I am our resident Salad Queen) I sometimes forget about this one, since its a recipe whose main ingredient isn’t a cupboard staple. However, I’m glad it popped back into my mind before a trip to Wegman’s last weekend, where I picked up a big ol’ bag of carrots, some ginger and most importantly, the rest of what would become a week’s worth of epic Asian-inspired salads. (Note: I paleo-ified the original dressing recipe by ditching the miso and adding a few drops of fish oil)
Anytime I mention to Scott that salad is on our menu, one of the first questions he asks is “What’s the protein?” So for last week’s cook-up I decided to whip up some delicious, sweet and savory Chinese Roast Pork, or Char Siu. You may recognize Char Siu as the not-so-naturally red sliced pork, with the lip-smackingly sweet glaze on it. However, those are obviously the two elements that had to go when it came to making this dish primal. The red dye is easy enough to omit, and for the glaze I used some raw honey. The end result was a pretty darn good take on the traditional version! It re-heated really nicely, and was the perfect topper to our salads (which also contained cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, scallion, peppers, and sometimes Kimchi–Yeah we kinda spanned from Japan to China with a stop in Korea on this one).
Primal Char Siu (marinade recipe adapted from Delightful Tastebuds)
- 3-4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, sliced lengthwise into 3 inch strips
- 5 garlic cloves, run through a garlic press
- 2 star anise
- 1 TBSP Chinese five spice
- 3 TBSP raw honey
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup raw honey (for the glaze)
Combine all the marinade ingredients (garlic through coconut aminos) together and pour into a large ziploc bag. Pierce each strip of pork shoulder a few times with a fork, and place into the bag, making sure to coat all the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
When you’re ready to get cooking, heat your oven to 325° F. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Put the pork strips on top of the rack, and pour the remaining marinade into a small sauce pan. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then flip the meat over and roast another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145° F.
While your pork is roasting, make the glaze. Add the 1/4 cup of raw honey to your reserved marinade and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until it begins to reduce. Set aside.
When your pork reaches 145°, crank up the heat to 400° F. Brush half of the glaze generously over the meat and roast for 5 minutes. Then give it another brush with remaining glaze and roast another 5 minutes, or until nicely browned the way you like it.
Remove pork from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the strips into medallions and enjoy! If you aren’t making salads like we did, this would be delicious just served with some stir-fried bok choy, or on some cauliflower fried “rice!“