Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

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There’s a restaurant here in Denver called Cholon that I have always try it. Problem is, it’s not gluten free friendly at all. But they have the most delicious looking items on their menu. Like pork belly buns, and dumplings, and tamarind glaze short ribs. All I have heard from people is that it’s one of the best restaurants in town. But I KNOW that I would be sick if I went there. This is my small effort to create something as tasty as they make without it being covered in gluten. Gluten is just the worst. I envy those who can shovel in the gluten with no issue at all. If you’re one of those, go to Cholon and be completely happy. You bastard.

So get this: my hair has been greasy lately. Wtf? No, please do not say “Maybe you’re pregnant. My hair got weirdly greasy when I was pregnant.” I get this comment all the time. This is what it usually looks like:

Me: “I’m so tired lately. I’ve had such a hard time getting out of bed.”

Reader: “Maybe you’re pregnant. I was so tired all the time when I was pregnant.”

Me: “I have to pee all the time.”

Reader: “You’re probably pregnant.”

Me: “I’m craving sweets like crazy lately.”

Reader: “You’re definitely pregnant. It’s just science.”

No, I’m not pregnant. And will not be pregnant any time soon. Just because I met the man I’m going to marry doesn’t mean I forgot how to practice safe sex. I’m pretty good at using my brain. But back to the point, my hair is greasy for no apparent reason. I should talk to my hair stylist about it first, but nah, I’ll just bring it up to you. What the fudge, people? It will be good to go for a half day and wham, I’m a grease ball. I really hate it a lot. Help me fix this!!!!

Yay guess what?! I just scheduled engagement pictures! And ordered a dress about 10 minutes after scheduling the session. How do you decide what to wear? Tell me your inspiration!

It’s snowing right now and it’s suppose to be 80 degrees on Saturday. What in the…


Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)

  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 2 pounds pork shoulder/butt

For the marinade

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cherry or plum jam
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili paste or sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon chinese five spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • sea salt, to taste


  1. Cut pork into chunks, removing the excess fat if you prefer. Place chunks of meat in a gallon size ziploc bag.
  2. Add all ingredients for the marinade in a medium sauté pan and place over medium heat. Whisk to combine. Let cool then pour marinade over pork in bag. Place in refrigerator to marinate overnight, at least 12 hours or more.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, pour water in the bottom of the baking sheet (to keep from burning) and place a wire rack on top. Place the chunks of pork on top of the wire rack. Sprinkle each piece of pork with a bit of salt. Place in oven to bake for 25 minutes.
  4. After 25 minutes, remove from oven, flip meat over and use a basting brush to baste the pork with leftover marinade (leave enough to do this once more).
  5. Turn oven to 400 degrees and place back in oven to cook for 15 more minutes, repeat with basting process and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


29 thoughts on “Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)”

  1. My hair used to be like that. I would wash it and then by noon it was greasy again. My hair stylist told me to wash it every couple of days and when you wash it ONLY use shampoo. If your ends are tangled use conditioner just on the ends. Do not apply conditioner to your roots. They also say when you do wash your hair wash it once with shampoo to get the dirt and grease up off your scalp and then wash again with shampoo to get it “extra clean.” This helps…seriously!

    Now the process to get your hair used to not washing it all the time SUCKS! Use dry shampoo and baby powder (can mix with a bit of cocoa for darker hair). It takes a couple weeks for your hair to get used to, but after that its fabulous. I only wash my hair every 3 days or so. MAGICAL!

    Congrats again on the engagement! I had 2 outfits for our pictures. One for downtown and one for in the gardens – lace dress. I can say one of my dresses was not really comfortable which made me look weird in pictures, so make sure you are comfortable!

  2. I was having a similar issue with my hair getting silly greasy. I stopped using conditioner in the shower. I use a lighter spray conditioner now (Unity 7 seconds I think is what it’s called – I get it from my stylist) and it’s much improved! If I use any product in my hair though it’s way greasy by the end of the day. If I just spray the conditioner and blow dry I don’t seem to have the issue. fun. stuff. :-/

  3. I had the exact same issue with my hair. Now I just use a cleansing conditioner most days to get rid of that ickyness and then use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week if I’ve been using some product. I think it’s helped.

  4. Last week my hair was SO greasy, it was gross. turns out my body was just prepping me for my special monthly visit. I’ve never had greasy hair before around that time, but maybe I also never really noticed. Just something for you to think about!

  5. Hey Juli. The grease is usually do to the products, and how many times, you are washing your hair. If you wash it daily, your hair gets greasier. I was told to try peppermint scrub shampoo for a while so your hair learns to not release so much oil.

  6. Need to make this ASAP! Looks and sounds SO delicious! Chinese always sounds so good but SO not worth getting gluten-fied! I agree with Amber washing your hair less frequently (like 2-3x per week) usually helps. It’s kind of gross at first but after a couple of weeks your scalp gets used to it.

  7. I had this issue a few months ago. Had nothing to do with product or how often I washed my hair (none of those things had changed). It was purely due to STRESS! You don’t have to be pregnant for oily skin/hair to be a hormonal issue because stress can freak out your hormones. My guess is that planning a wedding, publishing a new book, buying a house, are all contributing to higher than normal stress levels for you. I don’t have any cure, sorry. Just something to consider as a source.

    1. I agree with Amanda on the stress (even the good kind!). A new engagement a new cookbook – while these are AMAZING things they can be stressful.

      Also, I’m not sure how old you are, but I know that once I hit 30 (and more closer to 32, I’m now 34), my hormones changed and that had an impact on everything including my hair and skin.

      Ugh and being told what you’re experiencing is b/c you’re “def/prob” pregnant is just the worst!!! Amen sistah!

  8. Can I just say how much I love your comment about how being engaged does NOT equal being pregnant? For some of us, it is just never what we want, and we are fine with that! The rest of the world just needs to deal. Not every woman wants to be a mother!

  9. Sometimes the change in the seasons messes you up too, including the greasier hair than normal? If I read correctly, I think you wash your hair only once a week? I bet your hair will settle down soon! Just don’t give in and start washing it more, it’ll only make it worse….

  10. Ha! I get the same response too whenever I say I don’t feel great because I ate something i shouldn’t have that had gluten it it!

  11. My life story! Gluten and all. It’s currently my coworkers’ favorite thing to tell me that I must be pregnant!

    “No thanks, coffee doesn’t sound good right now.” You must be pregnant!

    “Wow, I need to cut back on my water intake! Can you keep an eye on my class for a few minutes?” Are you sure your birth control is working?

    “Thanks for the invite, but I think I’ll stay in tonight. I’m pretty wiped out from the week.” Are you pregnant?

    No! Goodness, people! It’s like as soon as you get married, people think they have a right to pry into your personal life!

  12. So I always have greasy hair, hate it. But dry shampoo totally changed my life! I tried all sorts – and obviously the most expensive was the one I liked the most … Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder. It’s amazing, seriously.

  13. I had the same greasy hair issue that just popped up out of no where. Made me feel awful, greasy hair makes me want to shower 4503453 times a day. It still happens here and there and my integrative doctor said it’s related to stress/adrenal issues & hormones. Apple cider & baking soda washes seemed to help cut through it, but definitely didn’t make it stop.

  14. Hair stylist here – it may be that you have silicon buildup on your hair. (Does it take a long time to dry? How about to get thoroughly wet? These are also signs of buildup) Try washing it with a clarifying shampoo like 3 times in one shower. It should help, and it can’t hurt.

  15. Hi Juli – the best advice I received for my engagement photos was to pick an outfit that is timeless… meaning no styles that are too trendy or patterns that are too “loud”. The last thing you want is to look back at the photos in 5 or 15 years thinking “What the heck was I thinking?” Good luck!

  16. The last time I highlighted my hair it was weirdly greasy for about three weeks. I used tea tree shampoo and it finally went away. Never happened before.

  17. Here is the advice I got for engagement pics:
    1. Don’t wear really loose clothing as it will make you look bigger (you probably know this tip since you are a blogger!) 😉
    2. Don’t be too matchy matchy. You don’t try to match your fiancé…ever, really. So why now? Wear something you are completely comfortable in and that makes you feel beautiful.
    3. Bring a change of clothes so you have options in your pics (but not too many-I only brought one change.)
    I’m sure they’ll turn out great!

  18. To all the gals who wash only a few times a week – what do you do if you work out everyday? I want to spread my washes out, but I like to get a good sweat everyday. Help! I usually add some baking soda to my shampoo when it seems to have build up. I HATE when my hair gets greasy.

  19. Can I use another vinegar in place of coconut vinegar? I don’t have that on hand and am feeling lazy and don’t want to run to the store…

  20. Hi!

    1. I’ve never commented before but I friggin LOVE you recipes. I’ve passed them on to my Mom as well and she can’t stop talking about them. Bold flavors but they are all relatively easily and quick. Thank you for you work 🙂

    DIY Dry Shampoo changed my life. I wash my hair maybe once a week (yes I work out too!) Mix Arrowroot powder and Cocoa for dark hair. I apply it with a short bristle brush. It gives you so much texture and volume too!

    Lastly, play up the shoes! You have such great shoes….don’t forget to let those babies shine in your photos!

  21. Dry shampoo for the win! I have tried all kind and found the drugstore brands to be just as effective as the expensive ones. My faves are Herbal Essence, Tresemme and Aveeno. Give those a shot. The key to making the dry shampoo work is to spray it in, leave it for about 5 minutes, and then brush it through. Works like a charm on my coarse, dark hair.

  22. I have to say, I’ve been to Cholon several times and it’s rapidly becoming one of my favs. I know…I’m a bastard. Sorry. However, this recipe looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.

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