My char siu pork burger recipe with Asian slaw is like the best bacon burger you’ve ever tried with an Asian twist. Using skinless pork belly strips marinated in the classic Chinese char siu sauce, it’s a flavour-packed burger with a little kick from the Sriracha mayonnaise and a refreshing Asian-style slaw in every bite.
If, like us, your idea of fast food is healthy home-cooked fast food and you’re a fan of home-made burgers (we have more on that link), then you’re going to like this recipe a lot. If you’re an even bigger fan of classic Chinese char siu barbecue pork (did you make our char siu omelette recipe last week?), then, trust us on this, you’re going to love this burger.
This char siu pork burger recipe with Asian-style slaw will make you what is essentially is a bacon burger with an Asian twist. Instead of bacon rashers, I use fresh skinless pork belly strips, which I marinate in Chinese char siu sauce. I bake the pork belly slices in the oven, which is quick and easy, make the Asian ‘slaw’ and Sriracha mayo, and the rest takes minutes.
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Char Siu Pork Burger Recipe with Asian Slaw, Crunchy Cucumber and Sriracha Mayo
We’ve never really eaten much fast food – and by that, I mean heavily processed junk food from global fast food franchises. Street food in Asia is an altogether different thing, as the home-cooked style of street food – noodle soups, stir-fries, curries etc – is a whole lot healthier than Western fast food.
The only times we occasionally resorted to franchise fast food was either when we were young and in need of a hangover cure – or hangover prevention – or when we were desperate and hungry and there was nothing else available. After a house move, for instance.
Aside from excellent doner kebabs from a Turkish takeaway in Kings Cross, Sunday night fish and chips picked up on our way back from one of Sydney’s beaches, or take-home pizzas from a favourite Italian diner, which I wouldn’t classify as junk food, if we had a craving, we’ve long preferred to make our own home-cooked fast food, including our own homemade burgers.
We’d been spoilt, you see. When Lara and I first started dating, her parents owned a popular beachside take-away and her dad, Warren, made the best Australian-style burgers with the lot – which I think our American readers might call ‘the works’?
We are planning to share Warren’s Aussie burger with the lot recipe, which we’ll do very soon. Perhaps it was us discussing that recipe, but I’ve been thinking about burgers recently and that’s how this char siu pork burger recipe with Asian slaw came to me.
So, what’s Asian slaw, you’re wondering? And why am I using ‘Asian’? Surely it comes from somewhere? Well, it’s actually a very simple side of grated carrot and daikon, often quick-pickled, that accompanies street food barbecue favourites, particularly in Southeast Asia, such as the char-grilled pork skewers here in Cambodia.
It therefore made sense to me to use that carrot and daikon ‘slaw’ as a layer for my char siu pork burger recipe, and as it’s found in more Asian countries than Cambodia, we’ve just called it an Asian slaw.
Tips for Char Siu Pork Burger Recipe with Asian Slaw
Just a few tips to making this char siu pork burger recipe with Asian slaw, crunchy cucumber and Sriracha mayonnaise, as it’s a straightforward recipe and the burger comes together quickly.
Called pork belly strips here in Cambodia, the cut of pork belly is quite specific and one we’ve started to find recently in our local supermarket. It’s the same cut used for Korean barbecue, which is very popular here in Siem Reap.
The pork belly strips look like fresh thick rashers of bacon that have not been cured and are basically slices of skinless pork belly, where you get the transition of fat to meat in every slice.
While these wide pork belly slices are indeed perfect for Korean barbecue, they’re also perfect for char siu. As usual, we like to use homemade char siu marinade, but if you’re time-poor go ahead and use a store bought char siu sauce.
After marinating the pork belly strips, we bake them in the oven. It’s also fine to very quickly sear them off on a barbecue. We find that baking the char siu gives us the latitude to quickly get a little char on the pork using the broiler function (top element) of the oven. You could also quickly flash them on a griddle pan.
But what about this Asian slaw? Well, for shredding the carrot and daikon, we use a nifty little tool that’s a kitchen essential for making sides and salads here in Southeast Asia.
Lara has long bought them from the markets for $1 each, as used to give them as gifts to her culinary tour clients, so we have a few around, and they last forever.
What you will find on Amazon are serrated julienne peelers, which are a bit same same but different, as is said here. While they will do the job, this is what you want. An old-fashioned box grater or food processor with shredding attachment will also do the trick.
As for the Sriracha, while we prefer the original Thai Sriracha, the American-Vietnamese Huy Fong brand of Sriracha, with the famous rooster on the bottle, works well with this burger. Or you could make your own homemade Sriracha.
Char Siu Pork Burger Recipe with Asian Slaw
- 350 g pork belly 'bacon' skin off
- 2 sesame seed burger buns split, toasted
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise real egg mayo
- 1 tbsp Sriracha or more to taste
- 2 cucumbers peeled into ribbons
- 2 tbsp char siu marinade see recipe here or use store-bought
- 80 g carrot julienned
- 80 g daikon radish julienned
- 1 long chilli deseeded and julienned
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- Marinate the pork belly strips in the char siu marinade, making sure they all have a good coating. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- On an oven rack with a tray underneath, lay out the pork belly strips on the rack and coat with any extra marinade.
- Cook for 10 minutes before turning and cooking for another 10 minutes. If you like crisper pork leave the pork in for longer. Leave in a warm oven when done.
- While this is cooking, make the slaw by combining all the ingredients. Taste the slaw and if you would like it a bit sweet you can add some granulated sugar.
- Make the Sriracha mayonnaise by simply mixing the two together in a small mixing bowl. If you love Sriracha like us, you can up the Sriracha to mayonnaise ratio.
- Spread this Sriracha mayonnaise generously over the bases of the burger buns as this will help the slaw to stick to the bas of the burger. Add a good handful of the slaw to each bun.
- Place the cooked pork belly strips on to of the slaw and layer the strips of cucumber on top of the pork belly strips.
- Spread the last of the Sriracha mayonnaise on the inside of the top burger half then place it on the burger.
- Devour immediately.
Please do let us know if you make my char siu pork burger recipe with Asian slaw in the comments below, as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.