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Asian Barbecue Recipes

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Culinary trends are showing that Americans have fallen in love with Asian flavors. It is easy when preparing Barbecue food, to introduce Asian spices and tastes. The resulting Asian umami flavors that are imparted to Barbecued food will keep your family and friends coming back for more!

Asian Barbecue is a bit of a departure from the backyard slow-cooking barbecue that Americans usually associate with the outdoors. Some of it is indeed slow-roasted whilst others are cooked at the table or using a skillet on the fire. Whichever barbecue method you enjoy all these Asian dishes have a savory, sweet balance that brings out the best in flavorings.

Have a closer look at the recipes below which introduce an Asian element to your backyard barbecue.

Char Siu – Chinese BBQ Pork

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The pork cuts can vary from Pork Loin, Pork Belly to Pork Fat.

It is often slow-roasted on a hook over the fire and this recipe probably is the closest to the traditional American slow barbecue. Char Siu means Burn or Roast (Siu) and Char is a fork! The marinade is brushed on whist cooking to give a savory, sweet slightly fermented flavor.

This recipe is for Pork Belly slices.


6 Thickly cut Pork belly slices ( This works well with Ribs as well)


5 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce

5 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar ( can substitute dry sherry)

2 Tablespoons of Honey

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 ½ Tablespoons brown sugar

¾ teaspoon red food coloring ( this is optional but enhances the red coloring of the pork)An alternate is beetroot liquid.

1/2teaspoon Chines 5 spice powder

1x finely chopped shallot for garnish


Combine all the glaze ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.

Set aside half of the glaze.

Add the pork into the bowl with the remaining glaze and cover completely. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours but overnight is even better.

When ready to cook set your fire or grill to medium/high for gas or indirect for a wood charcoal fire.

The belly strips should be placed over a hot grill. However, watch out for flare-ups. If this happens then move the strips, to the indirect part of your grill.

Cook the strips ( depending on thickness ) for 5 minutes on each side basting with the glaze before turning.

Serve direct from the grill.


Grilled Chicken Breast with Black Bean Sauce- Chinese

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Chicken breasts are brined and then grilled over hot charcoal. Result:- A crispy flavorful crust with juicy tender meat with a smoky aroma.


4 x Small Chicken breasts or thighs – Skin on or off.

Black Bean Sauce

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1/3 rd cup dried fermented black beans

1/3 rd cup soy sauce

1 medium-sized shallot – finely chopped

2 x teaspoons minced garlic

2 x teaspoons minced fresh ginger

3 x teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 x teaspoons sesame oil


Wash the fermented black beans gently rinsing a few times. Mash in a small bowl.

Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir to combine.

After drying the chicken breasts with a paper towel, place them in a ziplock bag and pour in the sauce. Make sure that all of the chicken is touching the sauce.

Squeeze the air out of the bag and close.

Marinate the chicken in the fridge for between 30 minutes and an hour.

Create a moderate two-zone fire. Using tongs brush the grate with a little olive oil.

Firstly cook the chicken breasts on the hottest part of the fire until browned ( approx. 3 mins). Flip and repeat with the other side.

Move the breasts to a cooler part of the grill and continue to allow cooking until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees C.

Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice and grilled vegetables. Alternatively, when cooled slice and serve over a salad.

Yakiniku Satay : – Thailand

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This satay dish is cooked and barbecued on a skewer. Use Chicken, Pork, or Beef. Traditionally quickly grilled over open flame after marinated in a thin paste.


Beef Skewers

1 lb Beef Flank cut into 1-inch strips

Beef Marinade

3 Tablespoons Lemon juice

3 Tablespoons Grated fresh Ginger

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 garlic cloves – grated

1 Tablespoon chili paste

16 wooden skewers – soak in water for at least 30 mins


In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the beef marinade ingredients.

Add the beef strips and allow to marinate for 20 – 30 mins.

Thread each strip of beef onto the soaked skewer.

Barbecue over medium-high heat for 3 mins each side. ( This will serve medium-rare meat) Allow skewers to rest for 5 minutes before serving with a peanut dipping sauce ( recipe below)

Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe

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4 Tablespoons natural peanut butter.

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 x teaspoon Fish Sauce

1x teaspoon chili paste ( Adjust according to taste)

A little warm water


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add a few spoons of warm water until reaching the required consistency.

Serve alongside the beef skewers.


Asian flavored Grilled Potato

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This is a great side dish off the barbecue, that will keep your guests asking for more!

1x large Russet ( Idaho) potato will serve four people.

3 x Tablespoons Olive oil Oil

Salt to taste

2x teaspoon cumin powder

1x teaspoon cayenne powder

2 x teaspoons butter


Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.

Coat both sides of the slice with olive oil

Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin.

Prepare a two-sided grill.

Prepare the slices directly over the hottest part of your fire. Cook until both sides are charred.

If the potato slice is still a bit tough, move it to the indirect heat to finish until cooked through.

Sprinkle with a little more cumin powder and a small chunk of butter on top.

When the butter is melted transfer to a plate and serve warm.


Chargrilled Lemon Grass Beef – Hoisin Dipping sauce- Vietnam

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Lemongrass, sesame, and spring onions give a tantalizing Asian flavor to these barbecued minced beef skewers.


500g (1 lb) minced beef

3x tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

12 spring onions- only white parts

3x lemongrass stalks- only white parts roughly chopped

2x garlic cloves

2x tablespoon fish sauce

2x tablespoons soy sauce

2x teaspoon sesame oil

2 x tablespoon light brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste


To make the Lemongrass Beef

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Place the lemongrass, spring onions, and garlic cloves in a blender with a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend into a fine paste.

In a mixing bowl, combine the minced beef, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and lemongrass paste.

Mix well by hand.

Refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to develop

Soak the bamboo skewers in water to stop them from burning when barbecuing.

Shape the beef mixture into long (or several short)sausages. Thread onto the skewers.

Prepare your grill to medium heat.

Cook the skewers for 3 minutes on each side, turning frequently until they have caramelized.

Serve warm.

These can be served on their own or with a baguette or pita bread stuffed with cilantro and a little hoisin sauce.

 Hoisin Dipping Sauce

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½ cup hoisin sauce

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

½ cup milk – full cream

4 Teaspoons unsalted toasted crushed peanuts


Whisk together the hoisin sauce, white vinegar, and milk.

Bring to a gentle simmer until thickened slightly.

Allow to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Before serving, sprinkle with the crushed peanuts.


Asian Style whole red snapper on the barbecue

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Red Snapper is a moist and tender fish. Grilling it whole over your barbecue basted with an Asian Vinaigrette is a healthy change from barbecued meats.


1 X Whole Red snapper cleaned and scaled


1/2 teaspoon brown miso paste

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon pickled ginger, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon brine.

1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

4 x radishes—3 thinly sliced, 1 chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

½ a poblano chile, deseeded.

10 x sprigs of thyme

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

1/2 cup radish sprouts


Place the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, miso paste, sherry vinegar, chopped radish, and pickled ginger in a blender and puree until smooth.

Run the blender on low and drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Allow the fish to reach room temperature.

Prepare the grill to medium heat.

Place the chili thyme and lemon slices in the fish cavity. Tie the fish together with kitchen string at 3-inch spacing.

Brush the fish with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Brush the grate with oil before placing the fish on it.

Grill uncovered until lightly charred. ( Approx 10 mins) Turn and grill on the other side until the flesh is white throughout a further 10 mins.

Remove Snapper to a platter with a large spatula.

Gently remove the kitchen string, use a spatula and fork, lift the fillet off the bone.

Serve topped with a few sliced radishes and a little vinaigrette over the fish.

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Introduce Asian flavors at your next Barbecue!


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About the Author:

Hi, I am a writer based outside Cape Town in South Africa. I come from a Barbecue obsessed family. With the great weather we have in Cape Town ( most of the year) we enjoy Cooking Outside in our Backyard as often as possible. South African's love to "Braai" anything! The trick to continuing to enjoy Barbecuing is loving the old favorites but experimenting with new foods and methods often.

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