I have to admit this isn't the regular Char Siew / Chinese Sweet Bbq Meat recipe. I had discovered this combination of ingredients due to a spur of the moment inspiration (also due to a lack of the proper ingredients in my pantry) and it seemed to work really well together. There is the super Chinese ingredient (Dong Quai/Chinese Angelica) and then there's the super non-Chinese ingredient, Liquid Smoke (I'm not claiming it's American, altho I was introduced to it in the States, coz I'm not too sure where this originated from).... hence, East meets West, and formed a great alliance.... world peace :D
There are many versions of this roast meat, even chicken meat have been used in place of pork for the non porky people but I'll have to say that it's just not the same. The fat in the pork belly is actually what gives the moistness and richness in the taste and of course the kind of "sweetness" that only pork fat can give.... yumminess!
Here goes ... some Chinese folks will be shaking their heads at this ... oh well....
1/2 kg pork belly (not too fatty, skinned)
2 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tbs thick caramel soy sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp food grade rose water (it's suppose to be rose wine but I didn't have that)
1 tsp liquid smoke (this can be replaced with Worcestershire sauce & is optional, it's just to give it a smoky flavor)
1/2 - 1 tsp ground Dong Quai / Chinese Angelica herb (also optional)*
*(you can also substitute the Dong Quai with 5 spice powder altho it will result in a different flavor)
Divide belly into 2 - 3 strips. (The thicker the strips the longer it takes to cook).
Put everything into a baggy, coat the meat well and leave to marinade overnight in the fridge.
When ready, preheat oven to 200˚C.
Remove strips of meat from the baggy, saving the marinade for basting. Place meat on parchment-lined baking tray. Roast for 15 mins. Turn meat over, baste with marinade and roast for another 10 - 15 mins. Remove from oven.
Heat a non stick pan or grill pan, brush the meat with the leftover marinade. Char meat a little or as much as you like, baste and char other side. Remove from pan and leave to rest for 10 mins before slicing.