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Air Fryer Char Siu Recipe

perfectly cut char siu from the air fryer

Mouth-watering Char Siu in an Air Fryer


Char Siu, also known as Chinese BBQ Pork, is a beloved dish known for its sweet and savory glaze. Traditionally roasted, this recipe uses an air fryer to achieve the same delicious results with less hassle and time. The air fryer caramelizes the marinade beautifully, resulting in tender, flavorful pork that's perfect for serving with rice, noodles, or as a part of a larger meal. This Char Siu Air Fryer recipe brings authentic Chinese flavors to your kitchen with a modern twist.


For the Pork:

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder or pork belly, cut into strips (about 2 inches wide)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional, for traditional color)



  1. Prepare the Pork:

  • Pat the pork strips dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the salt.

  1. Prepare the Marinade:

  • In a medium bowl, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, Chinese rice wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, and red food coloring (if using). Mix well until the sugar is dissolved and the marinade is smooth.


  1. Marinate the Pork:

  • Place the pork strips in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the pork, ensuring all pieces are well-coated.

  • Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

marinating char siu


  1. Preheat the Air Fryer:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).

  1. Air Fry the Pork:

  • Remove the pork from the marinade, letting any excess drip off. Reserve the marinade.

  • Place the pork strips in the air fryer basket in a single layer. If necessary, cook in batches to avoid overcrowding.

  • Air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, turning the pork halfway through cooking and brushing with the reserved marinade. The pork should be caramelized and reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).


  1. Serve the Char Siu:

  • Let the pork rest for a few minutes after cooking.

  • Slice the Char Siu into thin pieces.

  • Serve hot, garnished with sliced green onions or sesame seeds if desired, alongside rice, noodles, or vegetables.

Tips and Variations

  • Cuts of Pork: Pork shoulder and pork belly are ideal due to their fat content, but pork tenderloin can also be used for a leaner option.

  • Marinade Enhancements: Add a tablespoon of fermented red bean curd for a deeper umami flavor.

  • Vegetarian Option: Use the marinade on tofu or seitan for a vegetarian version of Char Siu.

  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with steamed bao buns, pickled vegetables, or stir-fried greens for a complete meal.

  • Storage: Store leftover Char Siu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until warmed through.


This Char Siu Air Fryer recipe is a fantastic way to enjoy the classic flavors of Chinese BBQ pork with the convenience of modern cooking. The air fryer perfectly caramelizes the sweet and savory marinade, creating tender and juicy pork with a deliciously sticky glaze.

Whether you're serving it as part of a family dinner or at a gathering, this Char Siu is sure to impress.

Experience the rich, authentic taste of Char Siu with this easy air fryer recipe. It's a delightful addition to any meal, bringing the flavors of Chinese BBQ right to your kitchen!



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