You know those glazed pieces of pork hanging in Chinatown restaurant windows? This is my coffee-spiked version. It’s simple: You marinate the pork, broil it until almost done, baste with the reduced marinade, finish under the broiler, and slice when cool. Serve with hot mustard and the reduced “java marmalade.”
Espresso-Flavored Char Shu Pork with Java Marmalade
Traditional Chinese “barbecued” pork gets kicked up with coffee in the marinade.
By Kate Heyhoe
- 1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1-1/4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon triple sec, or dry sherry (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 finely chopped scallions (green and white parts)
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Hot Mustard, for serving (below; optional)
1. Cut the tenderloin into 2 equal-sized, short, plump pieces. Dissolve the espresso powder in the soy sauce (it’s okay if a few granules remain). In a shallow baking dish or a resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce mixture, molasses, hoisin, triple sec or sherry (if using), garlic, scallion, ginger, and sesame oil. Add the pork and coat completely. Marinate, refrigerated, for 2 hours to overnight, turning the pork occasionally in the marinade.
2. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil, or spritz regular foil with nonstick spray. Place the pork on the foil-lined baking sheet. Pour the marinade into a saucepan, bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil, stirring often, until it reduces to a thick, syrupy glaze, about 5 minutes. When it cools slightly, the sauce will resemble marmalade, dense and sweet with bits of scallion, garlic, and ginger.
3. Broil the pork 5 to 7 minutes, until the top takes on color and starts to look cooked. Turn the pieces over and broil another 5 minutes. Spoon some of the thickened sauce over the pork, coating the top and all sides. Broil for another 3 to 6 minutes, until the glaze caramelizes and turns a deep mahogany color, and the pork is just cooked through. (Pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. At this temperature, the interior will still be pale pink but safe to eat.)
4. Let the pork rest 10 minutes (or up to 1 hour at room temperature) before slicing. Slice the pork at an angle and overlap the slices on a plate. Accompany with dishes of the reduced “marmalade” and hot mustard, if using. (Sliced char shu is meant to be enjoyed at room temperature, and can be made a day or two before slicing and serving.)
Serves 4 as appetizers, or 2 as a meal.
Hot Mustard: Mix together 2 teaspoons each dry mustard (or Chinese powdered mustard) and water until smooth. Let the mixture rest 10 to 30 minutes before serving.