Char siu (also spelled chasu, cha siu, chashao, and char siew), otherwise known as barbecued meat (usually pork) in China.  In Indonesia where the Hokkien dialect is predominant, it’s known as Chasio and the halal Chasio will be using chicken or duck.  Chasio pork is common to be served with Chinese-Indonesian style nasi campur (mixed rice) or Hainanese chicken rice (also known as nasi hainan or nasi hainam).

The red color on meat is a result of naturally food dye from red yeast rice which is known as angkak in Indonesian.

The original recipe of char siu that I got from Indonesian cookbook “Menu Istimewa” by Yasaboga was using chicken instead of duck.  I call myself the one who likes reading the ingredients on food packaging.  Inspired by a char siu package at the Asian store that I never buy as I just need to read what inside the package is, I modified the recipe by adding dried orange peel.

Char Siu Duck Recipe

1 whole duckling (young ducks) about 4 lbs or 1.8 kilograms, remove giblets and neck
4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
2 tablespoons grated ginger, squeezed to take juice out
4 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (I substituted for organic apple cider)
5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
5 tablespoon liquid unpasteurized honey
4 teaspoon five-spice powder (bumbu ngo hiang), toasted
5 tablespoons red yeast rice (angkak), ground
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons ground dried orange peel (optional)
2 teaspoons sago flour (I substituted for tapioca starch)

Briefly parboil your duck to remove offensive flavors and odors, some fat and ensure the meat stays moist while the skin crisps later.

Parboil The Duck
Fill your large pot with cool water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, plug the duck in for about 1-2 minutes. Remove duck from the boiling water and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, prick holes in skin all over duck, being careful not to pierce the flesh.

In this case you will marinate the duck twice. First of all, marinate the parboiled duck with toasted five spices for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside and keep in the fridge. Combine garlic, ginger juice, apple cider, hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, liquid unpasteurized honey, ground red yeast rice. After your first marinade, rub the mixture sauce on and inside the duck. You will marinate this again for another 1 up 2 hours.

Heat oven at 400 degrees F.

Place breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan and cook for 45 minutes. Baste with mixture of the remaining ingredients. Turn duck back-side up and cook for another 30 minutes. Turn breast-side up again and continue cooking until done — about 15 minutes.


  1. Lovely looking duck. Here in Northern California, it is simply easier and less expensive to buy a roast duck in a Chinese market than to cook at home. One thing I noticed during one of our last visits to Java is how much more popular duck has become across the island.

    • Have you ever tried itiak cabai hijau? It’s duck with green chilies from West Sumatra. In Surabaya, they also have a popular dish with duck, nasi bebek goreng. I miss it 🙂

  2. Ooooh yum, thanks Pepi. This brings back very fond memories from eons ago when we lived in Surabaya. My mother used to make something similar and it was just great. I’ll be making this for sure and let you know how it turns out.


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