From the team behind Bun House and Pleasant Lady, Wun’s Tea Room in Soho is a bar and restaurant heavily inspired by late-night 1960s Hong Kong. Serving a range of Cantonese dishes, it’s the char siu sugar skin Iberico pork that’s become one of the restaurant’s most famous dishes since opening, celebrated with almost religious fervour.
As well as using Iberico pork gilded with a thick strip of nutty fat, for which it’s prized, the char siu sugar skin Iberico pork is cloaked with a marinade of homemade char siu sauce, soy sauce, sugar and honey. After marinating for at least two hours (but ideally overnight), it’s then cooked fairly quickly in the oven. Once cooled, it’s dusted with a mixture of sugar, salt, chicken powder, 13 spice, chicken powder and sand ginger powder before returning to the oven for a further few minutes.
On the Wun’s Tea Room char siu sugar skin Iberico pork recipe, founder Z He says: “Char siu is such a classic dish, however our version is slightly elevated, which is why we love it so much. The sugar skin crust gives the dish a light crunch to balance out the fatty belly cut whilst enhancing the juiciness of the meat. In canton char siu is a very common dish eaten for lunch or dinner. When I was little our family would always order in char siu and a portion of roast duck from our local roast shop when we had guests over! It is such a delicious dish always guaranteed to bring people together, which is why I have kept the dish on our Chinese New Year menu, as this time of year is a time for friends and family to come together and celebrate the prosperous year ahead!”
- 1 kg Iberico pork belly skinless and boneless
For the char siu sauce
- 75 g nam yu red fermented tofu
- 100 ml hoi sin sauce
- 100 ml fermented bean sauce
- 100 g sugar
- 60 ml 0yster sauce
For the marinade
- 50 g sugar
- 10 g salt
- 400 ml soy sauce
- 200-250 ml char siu sauce
- 50 ml honey
For the sugar skin dust
- 100 g sugar
- 10 g salt
- 10 g chicken powder
- 10 g 13 spice
- 5 g sand ginger powder
- To make the char siu sauce, combine all ingredients and mix well. (Char siu sauce can be pre-made and stored in jars for future marinades. To make a smaller batch simply reduce the ingredients in ratio.)
- Cut pork belly into approx. 6x 2 inch long thick strips
- Combine all marinade ingredients (except the honey) and mix well.
- Add pork into sauce and marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight for a better result.
- Preheat the oven to 230C/ Fan 210C/ Gas 7.
- Mix all sugar skin dust ingredients together and set aside.
- Place pork on a rack and roast for 23 minutes.
- Take the rack out of the oven and flip the pork. Brush honey on all surfaces of the pork and return to the oven. Roast for another 20 minutes or until edges are lightly charred with a shiny and lightly golden finish.
- Set aside to cool.
- Before serving, coat the cooled pork strips with sugar dust. Put back into the oven for 2 minutes or until the sugar dust melts with a slight char on the edges.
- Let the pork cool slightly until the sugar crisps up then serve.