AIP Char Siu Pork Tenderloin is a delicious roast pork recipe that’s reminiscent of Chinese barbecue version. It’s completely soy, nut and refined sugar free and made with real ingredients to make it AIP diet friendly.
What is char siu?
Char siu is a Chinese barbeque pork dish. It’s usually seasoned with a combination of honey, five-spice powder, red fermented bean curd, dark soy sauce, and red food coloring.
Char Siu has a red reputation for always having red food coloring in it. The red food dye gives it a neon pink color that permeates the outer layer of meat. It’s just not natural. However, the food dye is completely optional and certainly not included in this recipe.
Aside from the honey and pork, the rest of the ingredients are a hard no for AIP diet followers. I’ve found substitutes for the other ingredients including the red food coloring. I used red beet powder! It does give a red tint to the meat. However it’s not glowing red like the ones you usually find in restaurants.
If you can’t find beet powder (I found mine in the supplement section of Sprouts) then feel free to grind up beet chips or dehydrated beets. Or just leave it out completely. It doesn’t effect the flavor the of the recipe.
The flavor is slightly different as well. Still tastes great but different. Char siu pork can be very sweet and even glimmer in the light because all the sugar has created a glaze. That’s just far too sweet for AIP eaters. This AIP Char Siu Pork recipe doesn’t rely on just the honey for flavor but other ingredients like molasses, apple cider vinegar and lots of spices.
The sauce is where this AIP Char Siu recipe differs from traditional recipes. I used the rest of the marinade to create a sauce. It’s great to drizzle over, not just the meat, but your rice (cauliflower rice, of course) or veggies. My son gobbles up the sauce after we drizzle it over his rice.
Char siu pork is sometimes served with a steamed bun. Yes, it’s totally gluten filled. And no, I haven’t had any luck adapting that recipe to something AIP friendly. However, you could use my AIP Cassava Flatbread recipe if you want to eat it more sandwich style. Top with some sauce, Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables and that would be an amazing meal.
Wondering what to serve alongside this AIP Char Siu Pork Tenderloin recipe? Try one of these side dishes:
- Garlic Bok Choy
- Cauliflower Rice
- Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables (click here for recipe)
- AIP Cassava Flatbread (click here for recipe)
AIP Char Sui Pork
- 2 1- pound Pork Tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus additional for cooking
- 3 tablespoons Honey
- 4 tablespoons Molasses
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Beet Powder optional
- Place all the ingredients into a 8x8 pyrex casserole dish or resealable plastic bag.
- Combine all the spices in a small bowl and liquids in another small bowl.
- Stir to combine then add the spices to the liquid and stir again.
- Next pour over the pork loins and make sure the pork covered.
- Then cover the dish and place into the fridge and let marinate for 24 hours.
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a large oven safe pan like a cast iron skillet.
- Brown the pork loin over high heat for about 5-6 minutes or about 2 minutes on each side.
- Pour the remaining marinade over the pork then place it in the oven.
- Roast in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, place the pork on a cutting board and then let rest for 10 minutes.
- When ready to eat, serve with sauce from the pan.
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