Blackcabbit's World

Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.

Authentic Home-cooked Char Siew Rice

Japanese food, especially sushi, has been my number one favorite food. However, after staying in sushi paradise for a while now, I’m beginning to crave miserably for the comfort food that I had for more than 26 years. To be specific, I really miss Singapore’s hawker dishes, which largely replaced home cooked meals for me as I’m away from my malaysian family most of my life.

Often, I seek out recipes, in hope to dish out my own hawker-style delights. However, most of the recipe requires ingredients, sauces, spices, seasonings that I cannot find here in Chiba (千葉県). Then, I had to either forgo the recipe, or substitute the missing component but end up with disappointing results.

Just when I almost lost my enthusiasm in my cooking attempts for Singaporean food, I found a great recipe for Char Siew (Barbecued Chinese pork). For the first time, the recipe looked really simple and promising. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel, and it gave me hope. So I tried it last night. Indeed, it was truly delicious. My Japanese family enjoyed it. Even my two-year-old picky eater set a new eating record.

Despite of using Japanese and unfamiliar imported brands of seasoning ingredients, the Yakibuta Don (that how we called it in Japanese) tasted totally authentic to the Singaporean and Malaysian Char Siu Rice that I’m familiar with.

Char Siu Rice

I am extremely grateful to Food Cannon for sharing his late mum’s (fondly known as Auntie Ruby) fantastic Char Siew Recipe. God bless your big heart of generosity (it’s really His way for showing His love to me, the alien living in Land of the Rising Sun). Thank you so much, Aunty Ruby for your “heavenly dishes.” I will definitely try the rest of your recipes soon.

Once again, click here for the original recipe for the Char Siew by Auntie Ruby. However, I thought I’ll share my slightly-altered-recipe with fellow Malaysian & Singaporean aliens living in Japan who badly need to satisfy their cravings too.

Pork & Marinade Sauce:

  • Pork Shoulder (豚肉肩ロースブロック) *[Pork Belly is expensive here] .
    I used 680 gm instead of 1kg, which was enough to feed my family of six.
    I cut the meat in manageable blocks.
  • Salt half a teaspoon
  • 5-spice powder 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame oil 1 teaspoon
  • Dark thick-sweet soya sauce 1 teaspoon
    My mum actually sent me the Kicap Pekat Manis all the way from Malaysia. However if you cannot find it at your area, here is the good news. According to, the trick is to substitute it with a mixture of soy sauce and brown sugar (combined equal parts and simmer until sugar dissolved). 
  • White pepper powder 1 teaspoon
  • Honey 2 tablespoon
  • Sugar 2 tablespoon
  • Oyster Sauce 2 tablespoon
  • Japanese cooking sake (料理酒) 1 tablespoon

Cooking Steps:

  1. Marinade Pork overnight.
  2. Oil 3 tablespoon onto wok.
  3. Remove pork from marinade sauce and sear pork with the oil for 2-3 mins.
  4. Add water 250ml to the marinade, and then add the mixture to the pork in the wok.
  5. Simmer (low fire) for 40 minutes (un-lid).
    Char Siu
  6. Remove sauce from wok.
    Char Siew
  7. Char meat with medium heat. (Control fire so as not to over-burnt)
  8. Slice meat only when cool enough to handle and prior to eating.
  9. Place meat slices over rice and cover with sauce.
    Optional: Serve with cucumber slices.

Despite of using Japanese and unfamiliar imported brands of seasoning ingredients,
the Char Siew Rice was delicious and tasted authentic!

9 comments on “Authentic Home-cooked Char Siew Rice

  1. Rachel
    March 5, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing, I am a malaysian who used to work in singapore and is currently staying in japan, I have been craving for malaysia and singapore food but have difficulties to look for the ingredient to cook them..

    Your blog has given me the idea of choice of ingredient^^ thanks a lot..;)

    • blackcabbit
      March 5, 2014

      Rachel, thanks for dropping by! So glad to meet a fellow-Malaysian! Hey, if you like Malay-Indian curries or rendang, be sure to check out Yamaya (やまや).
      I usually buy my instant mix there, whenever I crave for spicy food.

      Please stay in touch! ^_^Y

      • blackcabbit
        March 5, 2014

        Oh Rachel, maybe the next time I will share my Hokkien mee recipe :D

  2. blackgodzilla
    June 19, 2012

    Thanks for the receipe and for providing the extra wesites for resources. I know what we are cooking for dinner, when I return home from deployment. As you said is so hard trying to find substitutes for a lot of non-japanese receipes. Jamaican Jerk anyone?

    • blackcabbit
      June 20, 2012

      Once you tried the recipe, do let me know if you like the this Chinese dish :) Enjoy!

  3. Lentina
    May 29, 2012

    looks really good. Hooray for experimenting with success! :)

    • blackcabbit
      May 29, 2012

      Thank you. Next I think I’ll try to cook wanton mee cos that craving still strong. hee hee

  4. Huey Ming
    May 28, 2012

    Looks yummy! *droolz*

    • blackcabbit
      May 28, 2012

      LOL. Thank you (HUG)

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2012 by in Food / Recipe, Life in Japan and tagged , .
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