Joshua Weissman’s Char Siu with a Side of Backstory: Updated 2/23

I finally found the authentic Char Siu in Joshua Weissman’s recipe. Just roasted and glazed the pork and this is definitely the real deal. YUM!

This Chinese barbecued pork is a favorite dish I’ve tried making many times over the years (with lots of down time in between tries because failure just hurts) but I think young Weissman here has the genuine article. I made the marinade today and it tastes amazing, even without the tablespoon of fermented red bean curd that I didn’t have. The pork has to marinate overnight before roasting and glazing it so the verdict won’t be in until tomorrow. If I had to guess though I’d say this is it.

Update: Yup this is the recipe I’ve been searching for. True Chinese barbecue pork cut and flavor profile. As good as anything you get in west coast eateries. Next time I’ll be sure to add the fermented red bean curd. Also may double the recipe for the marinade so there’s plenty to reserve for extra glaze for serving the pork sliced as a side dish.

Joshua wasn’t my immediate go-to cook on YouTube because he gears his style to Gen Z and younger millennials. I’d say late teens to 30, which is about his age now. His goofy patter just wasn’t that appealing to me. But then I learned his latest cookbook, Joshua Weissman’s Unapologetic Cookbook, is or was The New York Times #1 Bestseller when it came out in September 2021. So time to dig a little deeper.

As it happens, Joshua was about 100 pounds overweight in his mid teens. It was a painful experience for him that he one day decided to change. Joshua started a food blog and started documenting his weight loss journey by making and documenting his experiments cooking food for his Paleo Diet. Something very different from what he’s doing now. A more innocent and not at all cynical teenage Joshua.

Joshua meticulously made and photographed his meals, while also researching local food producers and visiting them to learn more about fresh, whole, healthy eating. He lost all the excess weight too. One day, he was contacted by a publisher and at the ripe old age of 17, published his first cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. All 100 recipes written and photographed by him. https://youtu.be/tyM5zAv8c9Q

Incredible. That book is out of print now but I found a used copy at Thriftbooks.com and it’s on the way. Paleo is much more in line with my health and fitness goals so I can’t wait to get it. Meanwhile, after publishing his first book, Joshua moved away from home and found work in the restaurant industry. He wasn’t convinced he wanted to be a chef until he got an entry-level job at Uchiko in Austin, rumored to be one of the best Asian restaurants around these parts.

Over a period of seven years, Joshua labored in the kitchen under the indirect tutelage of Uchiko’ owner, Master Sushi Chef Tyson Cole. He climbed the ladder to management before his own YouTube cooking channel got so successful two plus years ago he quit to be a YouTube entrepreneur. That’s why I watch Weissman now and am especially keen to try his Asian cuisine. https://youtube.com/c/JoshuaWeissman

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