Recipe and photos by GaddAboutEating.
This BBQ pork is styled after the Chinese Char Siew style, but with some homegrown (BC) and international (Guyanese) stylings.
I think it’s worth noting that most, if not all of my recipes, are designed to be simple for beginner cooks to follow; practical for those with small kitchens or limited supplies; and fun for anyone to use and play with. If you don’t have a particular ingredient: SUBSTITUTE with something else similar or if it seems like it’s not crucial: omit it.
In this recipe, for instance, the maltose and hoisin sauce that would typically be included have been replaced by cane sugar and cassareep. If you don’t have honey, use brown sugar. or maple syrup, or whatever you think is similar, available, and interesting.
And finally, before we get into the recipe, I’d like to talk a little bit more about cassareep. Cassareep is made from cassava. Cassava is a vegetable root grown in the heat of the tropics. It has many similarities to a potato and is enjoyed in many ways by people in many countries. Cassareep is a thick black liquid made from cassava root, often with additional spices, which is used as a base for many sauces and especially in Guyanese pepperpot. Besides use as a flavoring and browning agent, it also acts as a preservative. Its antiseptic characteristics have led to medical application as an ointment, most notably in the treatment of certain eye diseases.
To make cassareep, the juice is boiled until it is reduced by half in volume, to the consistency of molasses and flavored with spices—including cloves, cinnamon, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Traditionally, cassareep was boiled in a soft pot, the actual “pepper pot”, which would absorb the flavors and also impart them (even if dry) to foods such as rice and chicken cooked in it. Most cassareep is exported from Guyana.