Skinny Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

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Pork Char Siu made with pork tenderloin in a garlic and ginger spiced marinade with Chinese 5 spice powder and hoisin sauce, this is a healthier spin on the classic Chinese takeout favorite.

Healthy Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) Healthy Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

We’re loving healthier versions of Asian recipes on the blog and every time I post a new one you guys send in requests. PS I LOVE the requests so please keep them coming! You can email them over if you’re on the mailing list (shameless plug for you signing up to get emails) or just leave a comment below with your requests.

This request came from Mary M. who loves Char Siu and Sweet and Sour Pork. You can skip the breading step if you’d prefer and make this recipe for just 3 smart points, but the crispy breading soaks up all the sauce for a delicious Chinese takeout makeover that will make you forget this is lightened up!

We are making a cross between sweet and sour and char siu, so you’ll see a bit more in the recipe that’s sweet. If you want to dial down the sweetness lose the tablespoon of sugar.


Best cut of Pork for Char Siu

Char Siu is traditionally made using pork shoulder thats cut down to the size of a pork loin, but in this recipe we’re using pork tenderloin which we cut down to allow for high heat and quick cooking.

If you want to use a larger cut of pork, you can use a pork loin for just slightly more points per serving. This will allow for a more tender cut of pork.

What makes Char Siu red?

Char Siu is red in cooking based on red food coloring, which we don’t use in this recipe. Traditionally the red coloring is not part of the recipe but in American restaurants it is often added to enhance the look and give it a smoky red ring around the pork.

Weight Watchers Friendly Char Siu

Can you make Char Siu ahead of time?

Yes, if you’d like you can marinade the pork for a longer period of time (up to 24 hours), but if doing that I suggest leaving the cuts of pork larger so they don’t get too seasoned.

What to serve with Char Siu Pork?

This recipe is perfect to serve with steamed rice or steamed cauliflower, Thai Green Papaya SaladSkinny Chinese Green Beans and Skinny Kung Pao Chicken.

Weight Watchers Chinese BBQ Pork

Healthy Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)
5 from 4 votes

Skinny Pork Char Siu

Pork Char Siu made with pork tenderloin in a garlic and ginger spiced marinade with Chinese 5 spice powder and hoisin sauce, this is a healthier spin on the classic Chinese takeout favorite.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 255 kcal


  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Marinade Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds for garnish optional


  1. Add the marinade ingredients (except the cornstarch slurry) together and let marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Add the pork to the egg mixture then dust lightly in flour.
  3. Add the pork to a skillet with the canola oil on medium high heat and brown well, 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove the pork from the pan and add in the marinade.
  5. Cook until reduced to about half, 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the cornstarch slurry and cook until thickened, then add the pork back in.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Skinny Pork Char Siu
Amount Per Serving (4 ounces cooked)
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.4g 13%
Saturated Fat 2.1g 11%
Cholesterol 129mg 43%
Sodium 459mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 9.8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g 2%
Sugars 3.7g
Protein 32.4g 65%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Pork Char Siu
Weight Watchers Pork Char Siu
Rating: 5

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Chinese Food Main Dishes Pork

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    1. Robin, thanks for pointing it out, but I don’t remember where my train of thought was when I wrote it! I’ve at least fixed it so that the sentence isn’t incomplete now .

  1. Sorry if this is silly – do I mix the marinade and then add the pork for 1 hour, or mix it and just let it sit for 1 hour?

    1. Sorry this got caught in my spam filter. Add the pork to the marinade and let it sit together for one hour.