Char siu is the red barbecue pork you find in Chinese restaurants. In Boston, Hong Kong eatery has good char siu (along with skin-on roast pork and roast duck), but I wanted to make some myself... so I thought of how it tasted and poked around the Internet and bought some pork. Pork butt seems to be the recommended cut, and I found some at Market Basket.
I combined applewood-smoked salt, five spice powder, and cumin for a dry rub. I sliced the pork butt, which was a big chunk of meat into slabs and covered it with the powder. Dry rubs should use seemingly unreasonable quantities of the ingredients; you want enough to create a crust. It may seem excessive, but remember that it is a thin layer of flavor that is balanced out by the volume of the meat. I let the pork sit with the rub for about 45 minutes.
While that was sitting, I mixed up a sweet red sauce to coat the pork and complete the flavor profile. I mixed soy sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinear, ketchup, and red food coloring. The last two ingredients are embarassing to admit, but the food coloring is why its red, and ketchup adds a sweet, tangy flavor when used in small enough amounts that it's hidden in the background. Usually you wouldn't use a sauce this sweet until the end of cooking to prevent the sugar from burning, but the temperature will be low that burning won't be a problem.
The result didn't taste like traditional char siu, but it still tasted good. I used it immediately with some soup, and used it throughout the week in noodles, fried rice, and omlettes.