Hong Kong barbecue may be missing the wood smoke, but not the flavor.
When you say the word barbecue (or BBQ) in America, immediately images of slow-smoked ribs and brisket slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce come to mind. Hong Kong barbecue is every bit as delicious as American style, it just uses some different ingredients and cooking methods.
Hong Kong barbecue (also called Chinese barbecue) primarily refers to a variety of roasted meats served with a sweet sauce that are available in restaurants and delis. Pork (char siu or cha shao) is perhaps the most popular and widely recognizable. It is roasted over an open fire and covered with a thick glaze made with honey and other aromatic ingredients. Honey is a critical ingredient in sauces for Hong Kong barbecue. Goose is also a popular option, it’s roasted until the meat is tender and the skin is very crispy.
Roast pork is a bit different from barbecue pork. It is typically prepared two ways. One involve cooking a large roast with the skin on in a charcoal oven. It is cooked for a long period which results in fork-tender meat and very crispy skin. The second preparation is a whole suckling pig, a popular addition to banquets. A suckling pig is between two and six months old and is cooked at a high heat, again resulting in a very crispy skin.