Recipe Redux Char Siu BBQ Pork – and a giveaway too, for you.

How exciting to get started with the first and only recipe challenge founded by dietitians, The Recipe ReDux.  As the Latin term “redux” means to revisit or reinvent, we are reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach. To kick start the first month challenge the theme befit of a Northern summer is grilling.  And I bet many of my US colleagues were expecting me to throw another shrimp on the barbie.  But it’s seriously cold in Melbourne this winter and there’s no way I’m venturing out on the back deck to fire up the grill, plus I’ve already written a guest post about Aussie style BBQ prawns here.  So instead I wanted to makeover a classic, indoors on my grill pan and share an ultra-clever tip.

Char Siu Pork – free from colours & additives

One of my vivid memories of living in Hong Kong are the vibrant red coloured BBQ pork and duck hanging from every restaurant window.  Sure succulent pork belly or Peking Duck is not everyday fare for a dietitian, but lean Australian pork is.  A healthy source of protein, thiamin, niacin, B6, B12, selenium, riboflavin, zinc, and omega-3, trimmed lean pork has lower saturated fat content than skinless chicken breast. Most basic recipes for Char Siu meat, simply suggest you pick up a commercial jar of marinade.  But I’m more conscious these days of the additives and colours that I feed my family.  Commercial jars contain high fructose corn syrup, thickeners, plus caramel and red colours.  So it was time to start from scratch.  I consulted my treasured copy of Balance & Harmony Asian Food by Australian Chef Neil Perry of Rockpool fame, sifted around the pantry, popped to marvelous Footscray for a couple of extra ingredients and adjusted here and there to bring down the sodium.


Pork loin fillet

Asian vegetables to serve – we love bok choy, snow peas and carrots steamed with slices of fresh ginger.

Rice – we used low GI Basmati because it was in the pantry

Honey for basting


4 tablespoons of fermented bean curd, mashed

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

100mL (3.5 fl oz) shaoxing (cooking rice wine)

4 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped


Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pork and toss with tongs until coated.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2hours.

Cut a piece of baking paper to fit the base of your grill pan.  This is a tip from my friend Lucy Kelly, food editor at Weight Watchers magazine. Baking paper prevents the marinade sticking to your grill pan and a massive wash up task, but still allows the griddle lines to mark and brown the meat. Ingenious!

Preheat pan to medium heat and add the pork loin, curving slightly so the ends do not touch the side of the pan and cook for approximately 30minutes.  Turn every 5-10mins during cooking time as the pork caramelises in places.  During the last 5 minutes, coat the meat with honey using a pastry brush.


We love to use individual small Chinese bowls that hold less than 1 cup of rice each, plenty for an evening meal.

And then we have fun with kid friendly chopsticks (like big tweezers joined at one end) and a communal platter.

It’s a great way to get young children to sit for longer at the table. We always have a giggle and more fun when the chopsticks are pulled out. It’s also a wonderful chance to get kids interested in other cuisines and ready to venture out for a night in Chinatown.  So did I tell you darlings about when Mummy and Daddy used to catch the Star Ferry to work everyday?…..”Oh mum, not again.”


June Recipe ReDux Roundup

Check out all the posts by the ReDux team:

Alexandra Caspero  Alexandra made Grilled Summer Fruit Salad Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD  Alyssa from InspiredRD made Grilled Romaine Salad Ann Dunaway Teh – Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish!   Grilled Flank Steak with Grilled Corn and Peach Salsa Cindy Brison – Nutrition Know How Chef Pandita Grilled vegetables Danielle Omar – Food Confidence  Grilled Sweet Peppers Diane Welland – EatWellEatClean  Grilled Beet & Onion Salad with Goat Cheese Dr Barb’s Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad – The Nutrition Budgeteer EA Stewart – The Spicy RD  Grilled Polenta Veggie Stacks with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition  Char Siu BBQ Pork Gretchen – Kumquat  Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers Jackie Mills- Delicious Diabetes Cooking  Grilled Proscuitto Shrimp with Asian Dipping Sauce Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious  Grilled Salmon Burgers with Cherry Chutney Kat Lynch – Eating The Week  Portobello mushrooms stuffed with spiced couscous Katie Caputo- East Meats West  Succulent Sirloin Kabobs Kristen – Swanky Dietitian  Portabella Mushroom Burgers with Grilled Corn Lisa – Healthful Sense  Grilled Veggie Bean Burgers Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex – Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen  Mushroom Burgers with the Works, Mushroom Cannellini Spread Marie Spano  Italian Grilled Turkey Burgers Nicole Ferring Holovach – Whole Health RD  Grilled eggs Rebecca Scritchfield – MeFirst
Grilled Plantains: A Sweet Summer Side Dish Regan – The Professional Palate  Grilled Eggplant & Two-Tomato Whole-Wheat Piadina Serena – Teaspoon of Spice  Grilled Watermelon Salad

Giveaway – Marion’s Cookbook

To celebrate the launch of the Recipe Redux I have one copy of Marion Grasby’s brand new book, hot off the press for a lucky Aussie reader.  Thanks to Pan Macmillan. Marion was our firm favourite during the first series of Masterchef and Marion: Recipes and Stories from a Hungry Cook brings together her love of food and love of her mother’s home, Thailand.  The photography is simply stunning and the recipes an eclectic mix of Asian stunners and homegrown comforts.  So to be the lucky winner of this covetable book, drop us a comment below.  Perhaps you have a top grilling tip? Or had a memorable Asian meal?  Or loved something about Marion on Masterchef?  The most creative comment wins and will be picked by Marion herself.  Entries open to Australian readers only (it’s heavy on the postage sorry) and comments will be taken up until 5:00pm Monday 27th June EST in Oz. So go for it.

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