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Jan 22, 2020

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork {Char Sui}

This slow cooker Chinese barbecue pork, or char sui, is pretty much meat candy. It's pork that has been cooked for several hours in the slow cooker, and then brushed with with a Chinese-style barbecue sauce and broiled until crispy and caramelized.

I received product for this post from Rhodes BakeNServe. All opinions are my own. #NationalSlowCookerMonth. 

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork {Char Sui}

This Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork, or Char Sui, is such an easy way to prepare pork butt (or Boston butt). I like to make a big batch of it to use in dishes such as barbecue pork lo mein and Singapore noodles. It's also delicious added to fried rice.

I've been a huge fan of char sui, and love marinading pork butt overnight and broiling it the next day. It's pretty much meat candy. It might even be better than bacon.

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork

How to make char sui in the slow cooker:

This recipe is for a slow cooker version, and does not require an overnight marinade. You just cook the pork butt in the slow cooker after rubbing it with Chinese five spice powder, salt, and pepper. Next you slather the pork with a delicious sauce and give the cooked pork a quick broil to create some bark on the meat.

To develop the deep caramelization, before broiling the pork, brush it with a mixture of hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, dry sherry or Shao Hsing rice wine, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and minced garlic.

You will end up with a pan full of this sweet pork for using in lots of recipes. You can also serve it as a main course with rice or noodles and vegetables.

Check out this bark. I can't stop picking away at this pork when it come out of the broiler.

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Char Sui

One of my favorite ways to serve Chinese barbecue pork is in steamed bao buns slathered with hoisin sauce and garnished with pickled and fresh vegetables and cilantro. I love making homemade bao buns in a bamboo steamer.

When Rhodes BakeNServe, a company that makes several types of frozen bread dough signed on as a sponsor for National Slow Cooker Month, I decided to try making bao buns out of their yeasted frozen dinner rolls.

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Char Sui with bao buns

First, I thawed the rolls in the refrigerator overnight. Next, I rolled each individual roll into a flat oval, and then folded each oval over and placed a piece of parchment paper inside the fold.

After that, I let the dough rise for about an hour, until puffy. Finally, I steamed the buns in a bamboo steamer for about 12 to 15 minutes before stuffing with the Chinese barbecue pork. Guess what? It worked!!

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Char Sui with bao buns in a steamer

If you don't have a bamboo steamer (affiliate link), you can use a vegetable steamer or a steamer pan, however, if you are a fan of dim sum, you might want to get one. They are very inexpensive.

I like to place mine in my wok for steaming these buns, dumplings, and other dim sum goodies.

Bamboo steamer

These cute little sandwiches, filled with Chinese barbecue pork, are totally delicious. I filled mine with sliced pork, pickled jalapeños, sliced cucumbers, hoisin sauce, and cilantro. You can also add pickled carrots and daikon radishes.

The pork is also delicious in a traditional bun or slider bun with pickles, mustard, and barbecue sauce.

More National Slow Cooker Month Recipes: 

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Sui)

This Chinese barbecue pork is sweet, succulent, and delicious. Sandwich it in steamed bao buns for for a delicious Chinese-style treat. 

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Char Sui with bao buns from frozen dough

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork {Char Sui}

Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork {Char Sui}
Yield: 8 servings
This slow cooker Chinese barbecue pork, or char sui, is pretty much meat candy. It's pork that has been cooked for several hours in the slow cooker, and then brushed with with a Chinese-style barbecue sauce and broiled until crispy and caramelized.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (4 pound) boneless pork butt roast, cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons shao hsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


How to cook Slow Cooker Chinese Barbecue Pork {Char Sui}

  1. Mix 3/4 teaspoon of the  5-spice powder, salt, and pepper and rub it over the pork. Place the pork into a 5 to 7 quart slow cooker and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. 
  2. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a foil lined and oiled  broiler pan with the broiler insert with slits cut into in the foil so that any extra grease will fall through to the lower pan. 
  3. Whisk together the hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, rice wine, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and the rest of the 5-spice powder. 
  4. Heat the broiler with the oven rack about 10 inches below the broiler element. 
  5. Brush the pork with some of the sauce and broil until the meat for 7 minutes, until just caramelized. Flip the meat, brush with more sauce, and broil for 7 more minutes. 
  6. Brush the pork again with more sauce and broil until the pork is dark brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. 
  7. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  8. Slice the meat into thin strips and serve. 
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char sui, pork

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Created using The Recipes Generator

Recipe adapted from The Complete Slow Cooker.

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Would you like to comment?

  1. This is doubly genius! First, we love car sui, but threading all of that pork on a skewer to grill it is a lot of work. I can't wait to try this slow cooker/broiler version. Secondly, what a great way to make the buns. I can't wait to try this!

  2. Wow Karen this looks amazing!! The meat looks wonderful and flavorful and such a creative use of your rolls here! Nice job!

  3. I seriously want to lick the screen! This pork looks so awesome and how creative to serve them on the rolls!

    1. Ha ha! It was fun experimenting with steaming the bread.

  4. What??? You steamed the rolls? Brilliant!!! Love that you were thinking outside of the box...and they look amazing!

    1. I definitely had a back up plan if it didn't work out, lol!

  5. Char sui is one of our favorites. I have never tried it in the slow cooker. I love that you steamed the Rhodes Rolls. Genius.

    1. Thank you!! I had my fingers crossed that it would work!

  6. While the pork looks AMAZING, I'm drooling over what you did with the rolls!!

  7. I can't believe you steamed the buns. That's absolutely genius!! And that pork looks perfectly scrumptious.

    1. I was so excited that steaming the dough worked out!

  8. This is so creative and looks so delicious. That beautiful pork and pillowy buns! Yum!


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