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Ever tried Keto BBQ Pork?  It’s also called Char Siu. When my husband Shawn and I were dating, I insisted we head to Toronto (1.5 hours away) for Chinese BBQ pork called Char Siu sold at my favorite Asian restaurant in Toronto’s China Town called King Noodle (296 Spadina Avenue).  If you’ve been to China town chances are you’ve seen Char Sui with its red and gold shimmering skin hanging side by side alongside roasted ducks and soy sauce chicken, visible through the restaurant window.  The most traditional version uses 4 obscure ingredients only found in Chinatown — fermented brown bean sauce, red fermented bean curd cubes, rose cooking wine, and Maltose sugar.   

In ancient times wild boar was used to prepare this delicacy. Today domestic pork is used.  The term ‘char siu’ refers to meats marinated in char siu seasoning.  The meats are prepared either from scratch or from store-bought version, then roasted in the oven, over a fire, or on the BBQ. 

Shawn always agreed to head to Toronto, no doubt, for no other reason that I seemed super excited to introduce him to one of my favorite culinary dishes. When he tried the Chinese BBQ pork for the first time, he moaned in delight. His pound of pork disappeared within minutes. Since this early introduction to King Noodle’s Char Siu, Shawn and I have been indulging ever since — when I choose to vacate my sugar-free lifestyle.  Char Sui has a sweet and salty taste.  The sauce is often used in Cantonese cooking.   The meat is often served in a bun or with noodles or rice.  


The nutritional value for Keto BBQ Pork is positive.  I think pork continues to get a bad rap. I am a fan of this protein but do eat it in moderation. Pork offers a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals. Three ounces of pork provides a third of our daily requirement for thiamine, niacin, selenium, and vitamin B6. This meat is also rich in B12, potassium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Three ounces of pork also gives you approximately 22 grams of protein. Did you know that pork contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for your body’s growth and maintenance?

Yes, pork is saturated fat. The good news is that some cuts are leaner than others. The nutritional value of pork varies greatly, depending on the weight and cut. The most lavish cuts are bacon, ribs, and butt. Three ounces of pork ribs have about 232 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 15 grams of fat.

The cuts that have ‘loin’ in their name tend to be the leanest. A three-ounce portion of pork tenderloin generally offers about 163 calories, about 21 grams of protein, and only about 2.98 grams of total fat. (This is as lean as a skinless chicken breast.)


The predominant flavour of  Keto BBQ Pork comes from the Chinese 5 spice seasoning.  This spice blend adds warmth, complexity, and spiciness to the pork. Due to 2 of the 5 ingredients offering licorice notes, the spice blend works incredibly well with the sweetness.  Pork is considered sweet-tasting meat, so the spice is highly complementary. 

This Keto BBQ Pork seasoning on the pork is full of health benefits.  The seasoning possesses two compounds called cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin that help prevent clumps of the tau protein from occurring in the brain and therefore is believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s.  Cinnamon also helps to regulate insulin levels for diabetics. And for this reason, studies suggest that it may also contain anti-Alzheimer’s properties


Cinnamon offers various health benefits, including its potent antioxidant properties that help protect cells from oxidative damage. It has anti-inflammatory effects, which may contribute to reducing inflammation in the body. Cinnamon has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, making it beneficial for managing blood sugar levels, especially in individuals with diabetes. Additionally, some studies suggest that cinnamon may have antimicrobial properties, potentially aiding in fighting bacterial and fungal infections.

Star Anise:

Star anise, derived from the Illicium verum plant, is a historically significant spice with recognized health benefits. Primarily known for aiding digestion, it may alleviate bloating, gas, and constipation while potentially enhancing nutrient absorption through the stimulation of digestive enzymes. Its antimicrobial compounds may boost the immune system, combating harmful bacteria and viruses. Some studies hint at anti-inflammatory properties that could reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, star anise may benefit the skin by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, potentially improving elasticity and minimizing fine lines. Though promising, more research is needed for a comprehensive understanding of its effects. As with any herbal remedy, consulting a doctor before medicinal use is crucial.

Fennel Seeds:

Fennel seeds provide numerous health benefits, as they are rich in fiber, which supports digestive health by preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. The seeds also contain antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which contribute to their anti-inflammatory properties. Fennel seeds are known for their potential to alleviate bloating and gas, offering relief from digestive discomfort. Furthermore, some studies suggest that fennel seeds may have antimicrobial properties, aiding in the prevention of bacterial and fungal infections.


Cloves offer several health benefits, primarily due to their rich content of antioxidants like eugenol. These antioxidants possess anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to overall health and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cloves are known for their ability to alleviate dental pain and discomfort, thanks to their natural analgesic and anti-bacterial properties. Additionally, some studies suggest that cloves may have potential anti-diabetic effects, aiding in the regulation of blood sugar levels.


Szechwan Peppercorns:

Szechwan peppercorns: Another super healthy spice, Szechwan peppercorns come the Szechwan tree (scrub) in the Sichuan province of northern China.  The spice is made from the pink husks from around the seeds.  The seeds are discarded.  This spice helps to stimulate our immune system, helps to reduce pain, boosts our appetite, increases blood circulation, strengthens bones, and reduces inflammation.


Due to the predominant flavors of spiciness and licorice, this Chinese spice blend on the Keto BBQ Pork makes it compatible with wines offering some sweetness.   The spice has sweetness and heat and spice.  For this reason you’ll need a white with some sweetness to match and to off-set the heat and spice. In following a Keto diet or in living a low-carb lifestyle, we don’t want to use up your carbs on a glass of wine.  You have a couple of options. Drink whatever wine you like (as long as it’s bone dry) and don’t worry about pairing the wine to dish.

Enjoy your wine the way you like it. If you like to create harmony between the wine and the food, you’ll need some sweetness in the wine to match the sweetness and offset the heat and spice.  Add a pinch of monk fruit sweetener to your glass of wine.  Choose a white like Riesling or Gewurztraminer or a pink rose. These varieties taste great when bone dry or sweet.  So they taste great with the added sweetener.  The wine’s sweetness will nicely match and offset the heat and spice.



To support your Keto diet or low-carb lifestyle, opt for quality, non-alcoholic wines that are low-carb and low in sugar. Additionally, alcohol does not align with a keto diet or low-carb lifestyle. Moreover, your liver processes alcohol before nutrients, pausing ketone creation and slowing the ketosis process. Furthermore, your body will metabolize alcohol as fuel before utilizing food, which can decelerate fat burning and may lead to the storage of carbs, fat, and protein as excess body fat. Moreover, alcohol consumption stimulates the appetite, potentially causing overeating.


Did you know that when you consume alcohol, your liver has to work extra hard to break it down? This can result in damage to your liver. Furthermore, it can elevate your risk of health issues such as inflammation and cancer, particularly with heavy consumption. Additionally, alcohol can disrupt your blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling dehydrated and disrupting your body’s normal functions.


Non-alcoholic wines with minimal carbs and sugar are advantageous for your health. They not only aid in weight management, blood sugar control, and hydration but also contain essential nutrients and antioxidants from grapes that can decrease your risk of health conditions like heart disease. Consequently, since they lack alcohol, they’re ideal for socializing without any adverse effects, promoting feelings of happiness and reduced stress.




Turkey Frittata (Heart Healthy)

Cream Cheese (Heart Healthy)

Tilapia Parmesan (Heart Healthy)

Chicken Quarters (Heart Healthy)

Stuffed Peppers (Heart Healthy)


  1. Baking pan: To line with tinfoil or parchment paper and place the wire rack on top.
  2. Wire rack: To elevate the pork shoulder pieces above the baking pan to allow for even cooking.
  3. Brush or spoon: To coat the pork shoulder pieces with the sauce.
  4. Small bowl: For mixing the ingredients to make the sauce.
  5. Whisk: For combining the ingredients of the sauce thoroughly.
  6. Oven: For baking the pork shoulder pieces.
  7. Grill (optional): If you prefer to grill the pork instead of baking it.
  8. Avocado non-stick cooking spray: To grease the wire rack for easy cleanup.
  9. Zip-lock bag (optional): If marinating the pork overnight, for convenient storage.
  10. Knife and cutting board: For trimming excess fat and/or rind from the pork shoulder pieces.
  11. Measuring spoons and cups: For accurately measuring the ingredients.
  12. Tongs or spatula: For handling the pork shoulder pieces during cooking and serving.
  13. Plates and serving dishes: For serving the cooked Keto Char Siu.


Pork Shoulder for KETO BBQ PORK

Get pork shoulder pieces ready. Cut off excess fat and/or rind.


Preheat the oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a pan with tinfoil or parchment paper (to make clean-up easier). Set a wire rack on top of the baking pan. Spray the rack with avocado non-stick cooking spray (to make clean-up easier). Set the pork on the wire rack.



Coat the pork with the sauce. Generously sprinkle Chinese 5 spice oven the sauce. (Note: you can marinate the pork in the sauce overnight in a zip lock bag if you prepare the dish in advance.)



Bake or grill on BBQ pork for 40 to 45 minutes until pork is done. Rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh cilantro or scallions. Serve with cauliflower rice.

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  • Author: Shari MAC
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Discover the delicious flavors of Keto BBQ Pork (Char Siu). Pair this delicious Asian dish with its finest non alcoholic wine.


  • 1 lb pork shoulder pieces, excess fat and/or rind trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener (or erythritol)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • Avocado non-stick cooking spray
  • Fresh cilantro or scallions for garnish
  • Cauliflower rice for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the rack in the middle position. Line a baking pan with tinfoil or parchment paper to make cleanup easier. Place a wire rack on top of the baking pan and spray it with avocado non-stick cooking spray.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, monk fruit sweetener, sesame oil, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and minced ginger to make the sauce.

  • Place the trimmed pork shoulder pieces on the wire rack.

  • Brush or spoon the sauce generously over the pork pieces, ensuring they are evenly coated. Sprinkle Chinese five-spice powder over the sauce-coated pork pieces.

  • Bake the pork in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked through, with an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for medium doneness. Alternatively, you can grill the pork on a barbecue if preferred.

  • Once cooked, remove the pork from the oven or grill and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

  • Garnish the sliced pork with fresh cilantro or scallions. Serve with cauliflower rice or your choice of side dishes.


  • The recipe is based on the keto version and is approximate only.  One serving has 1 grams of net carbs.
  • (Note: The nutritional information provided is a courtesy and is approximate only.  We cannot guarantee the nutritional accuracy of any recipe on this site.  We cannot know what brands you use or how accurately you follow the recipe or what you like to add creatively to the dish. Use the information as a general guideline only.)
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: KETO LOW-CARB
  • Method: BAKING
  • Cuisine: DINNER


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 275
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 350
  • Fat: 17.5
  • Saturated Fat: 5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12.5
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 1
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 27.5
  • Cholesterol: 80


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