Chinese Cravings? Try This BBQ Char Siu Paneer

Char Siu is a type of Chinese dish, usually made with seasoned boneless pork. It belongs to the Cantonese style of cooking and the pork is usually covered in a glaze and then cooked on wooden skewers until the meat is tender.

The term char siu originated in the royal courts and recipe books from over 3000 years ago in the Zhou dynasty. This era featured a number of grilled and barbecued recipes. The original Chinese character for char siu was similar to the character for skewered pork but over time the recipe evolved to improve the marinade and flavour profile.

Today, the term char siu encompasses more than just barbecue pork and it can be used as a marinade for any type of protein. This recipe replaces the meat with paneer for a yummy vegetarian version that can be made at home.


  • 200-300g paneer, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1cm ginger, grated
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • Spring onion to garnish
  • Sesame seeds to garnish


  • Fry the paneer slices in vegetable oil over a medium-high heat until golden and crispy.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients (apart from garnishes) together in a small dish then, when the tofu is crisp, pour the mixture into the pan, bring to a simmer and cook down until the paneer is coated in a sticky glaze
  • Garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds and serve with rice or noodles.