chashu roll

Cha-Shu Sushi

I grew up with my mom making cha-shu. She would make a big batch for dinner one night and we would eat it with ramen, and then eat it in sandwiches the rest of the week. It wasn’t until I met Son that I ever heard it referred to by the Chinese name – char siu? Or something like that? The way Son says it sounds like sa-siew, so now I’m completely confused. Don’t blame me, I’m Japanese! Hehe maybe some of my Chinese readers can help me out here? Anyways, after making the beef teriyaki for the Banh Mi Sushi and being rather successful with one of my mom’s dishes, I decided to make another dish that I grew up with, and it turned out pretty good too! (Of course it wasn’t as good as mom’s… it’s never as good as mom’s!)

Now you may think I’m silly, but if you are in the mood to go see a movie, and an animated one at that, you should really go see Ratatouille. You know, the movie with the cooking rat! Hehe Son and I just got back from seeing it, and it was fantastic! Now if only I could cook like that… maybe someday! 😀

Makes 6 rolls, or 36-48 slices.

Chashu Roll

  • 6 sheets nori
  • 3 cups sumeshi
  • 2 lbs boneless center cut pork loin
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp shoyu
  • 1.5 tbsp rice wine (NOT rice vinegar!)
  • 2.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • mayonnaise
  • seasoning salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Remove most of the fat and gristle from pork loin and discard.
  2. Cut meat with grain into strips about 3 inches thick.
  3. Combine hoisin sauce, shoyu, rice wine, sugar, salt, ketchup and garlic in a bowl.
  4. Add meat. Coat well.
  5. Marinate at least 4 hours, or overnight
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Arrange the pork on a rack (I used a cookie cooling rack) in a roasting pan (or on a cookie sheet). If you want to reduce the mess, line the cookie sheet with foil and also put foil on the rack, using a knife to cut through the foil where the openings in the rack are so the juices and marinade can drip through onto the pan. It’s not guaranteed to be entirely mess free, but it should reduce the mess significantly.
  8. Roast for 45 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the outside is brown.
  9. Cook sushi rice.
  10. Slice a piece of the cooked meat into strips, about 1 inch thick.
  11. Cut the avocado in half, discard the pit, slice into thin slices while still in the tough skin, then discard the skin.
  12. Roll the sushi, using one cha-shu stick, a few avocado sticks and mayonnaise as your fillings.
  13. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Enjoy!

18 thoughts on “Cha-Shu Sushi”

  1. Lara -

    I love the steamed bbq pork buns (char sui bao) that are made with this stuff and always get it for dim sum. There’s even a bbq place next door to the dim sum restautant that sells the pork by the pound so I bought some. I put it in the onigiri that I made a few weeks ago. Yummy. 🙂 You can also use the leftovers (2-3 thin slices) as a garnish on miso soup or just snatch pieces and walk round the house munching.

  2. Yvo -

    Haha I had char sui yesterday for the first time in ages and did just that- walked around the house munching. My mom makes a kick ass version, similar to yours but slightly different. You can even make spare ribs like that and it comes out chewy and yummy where you’re gnawing on the bones for that last bit… ummm, yeah. You can actually also buy the sauce in a bottle but why the heck bother when we all know homemade is better?! 🙂 Mmm.

    PS I grew up in a Cantonese household, so char siu/cha siew is about as close as I can spell it. If you want to be picky, it might be tsa siew? But I always see it spelled ch-, not any other beginning. Hope that helps!

  3. Amy -

    Um, yum. I know what I’m cooking this week. You just made me drool all over my keyboard, thanks. 😉

  4. Allison -

    Lara – Yeah I definitely walk around the house munching it, or stick it in sandwiches and have a fabulous lunch!

    Yvo – Sauce in a bottle? Bah humbug! Hehe. I have never tried making spare ribs this way, but just thinking about it is making me drool! Thanks for the clarification about the pronunciation/spelling of what I call cha shu. Things are much clearer now!

    Amy – 😀 Hehe hope your keyboard isn’t ruined! 😛

    Jennifer – Thanks so much! Love the page you made about Ratatouille!

  5. Troy -

    Please forgive my ignorance, but I had a question about the mayo.

    Do you spread it on the rice like a sandwich, or a line of it with the ‘insides’.

    It may seem obvious to some, but I just want to make sure and do it right without ruining anything.


  6. Allison -

    Ignorance? Bah! I see no ignorance, only perfectly valid questions! Especially because nowhere do I have an answer to your question. 🙂 You could probably spread it on the rice if you want, but I usually use a line of it along the fillings. Have fun making sushi! 😀

  7. Brianne -

    cha-shu is sooo yummy! my bachan serves it for new years.. and christmas.. and anytime i come around because its my all time favorite!!! but i think my aunt brings it.. and she cheats and goes to this restaurant and buys it… hence the reason new years i didnt recieve any.. boo hoo! i really am craving sushi now btw…

  8. Allison -

    I should invite you over the next time my mom makes cha-shu… we’ll see if it’s as good as the one you have! I would go get sushi with you right now… but I have a bunch of stuff I have to do. 🙁 Oh well… I hope you get your sushi!

  9. Laura -

    I really love your website, been reading recipes for over an hour, love sushi and making sushi, you are soo inspiring!

  10. LaraQ -

    I made a batch of the char siu pork according to the recipe you shared (though I added a tsp of 5 spice powder) and it was very tasty. You really need to put it on a grill as the marinade burns horribly if you don’t. I found out with 3 extra pieces of pork which didn’t fit in the pan and ended up on just foil on a baking sheet. 🙁

    I thought my mom wouldn’t like it as she doesn’t care for ‘sweet’ pork marinades but she just gobbled up the ‘burnt’ pieces I had cut up as well as the slices I served her over some leftover sushi rice.

    Will definitely make it again though I’m still looking for a sauce that you can serve over them like you get in the chinese bbq places. I hope there’s some meat left for the intended purpose I made these … sushi rolls and some bao.