Thursday, 1 August 2013

Recipe - Char Siew Chicken (Chinese BBQ Chicken)

This char siew chicken or bbq chicken is the chicken version of the char siew pork. It is sweet and savoury. It is also easy to prepare.

The best part of the chicken is probably the legs. That's because they are the most active part of the chicken.

For this recipe, I use 2 boneless and skinless legs. I got the boneless legs from the supermarket and remove the skin myself.

Before marinating the skinless and boneless legs, I blanched them in boiling water for a minute to get rid of any surface fat and also to get rid of the chicken smell.

Then I use the sharp end of a knife to poke some holes into the meat. This will help the marinade to penetrate into the meat and absorb the flavour.


2 skinless and boneless chicken legs (about 600 grams)


2 tbs sugar
1 tbs hoisin sauce or char siew sauce
char siew sauce
2 tbs of dark soya sauce
1 tsp grated ginger (for extra flavour)
1 tsp grated garlic (for extra flavour)
1 tsp of salt
Juice from 1 lime


Give the skinless and boneless legs a quick blanch in boiling water.
Poke some holes in the legs with a knife.

In a bowl, put all the seasoning ingredients and give them a good mix.
hoisin sauce
Add in the chicken.
Make sure the chicken is well coated.
Marinate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight)


Remove chicken from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Lay aluminium foil on the basement tray.
Add half a cup of water. This helps to keep the meat moist.
The foil will also capture the dripping sauce.

Place the chicken legs on the roasting rack.
Roast at 180 degrees C for about 15 minutes on top heat.
The top part of the chicken should start to char.
Turn over the chicken legs and roast the other side for about 10 minutes.

The chicken legs should be done after a total of about 25 minutes.
Remove and set aside on serving plate.

The basement tray will have some dripped sauce from the roasting process.
Combine this dripped sauce with the excess marinade and heat over low heat in a sauce pan.
Stir constantly till the sauce becomes thick.
Spoon this sauce over the chicken legs and serve.
(Note: I usually cut the legs into strips before serving)


In this 12 minute video, the chef adds maltose, 5 spice powder, chilli flakes, wine, chilli sauce and ketchup. That's real savoury.

This 7 minute video is for char siew pork. Bella uses sherry, hoisin sauce, dark soy and sugar for the marinade.

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