05 May2012


by Marketman

Many of the recipes for char siu pork specified the ingredient MALTOSE rather than white or brown sugar. It was particularly mentioned for the glaze, to provide the sticky sweet but not totally charred finish to the roasted pork. I had never used it before, though I had seen it in Chinese groceries, and had even wondered what it was for. My tattered copy of Alan Davidson’s “The Oxford Companion to Food” describes maltose as “a disaccharide (double sugar) formed when starch is broken down by enzyme action, as when barley is malted…” … Maltose is only one-third as sweet as sucrose – ordinary sugar – but its energy value is the same.” Wikipedia says it is “half as sweet as glucose, and one-sixth as sweet as fructose.”

I bought our maltose (several containers of it to make the trip worthwhile) at a Chinese grocery in Binondo, Bee Tin, but I have sometimes spotted it in Greenhills, at the Chinese shop on the first floor of V-Mall. I can’t recall if Cash & Carry carries this. At any rate, it is almost honey like in appearance, but its texture is stiffer and less free-flowing. And don’t put it in the fridge, as it nearly solidifies completely and you can’t scoop it out of the container. When mixed with other ingredients in your marinade, it seems to dissolve eventually, but it takes some time. Substituting white or brown sugar will provide the sweetness, twice the sweetness in fact, which will be more prone to caramelizing faster, and burning, and I am not sure it will achieve the same sticky gloss on the meat that is considered desirable in good char siu pork…



  1. Nadia says:

    What other dishes use maltose?

    May 5, 2012 | 8:40 pm


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  3. betty q. says:

    Nadia…to name a few…candied sweet potatoes. Peking Duck, Chicken Honey

    May 5, 2012 | 10:41 pm

  4. florisa says:

    i think i have maltose somewhere in my pantry that i used in one of my brownie recipe before. bought in either in sweetcraft or baker’s depot.

    May 5, 2012 | 11:10 pm

  5. Shan says:

    Months ago, I bought jars of maltose to be kept in my pantry for that oozing char siew. It’s cheap at PhP50.00 in Binondo’s Bee Tin.

    May 6, 2012 | 5:30 am

  6. marilen says:

    Thank you, learned something new today.

    May 6, 2012 | 6:41 am

  7. PITS, MANILA says:

    Thanks, MM! Maltose, it is for next time …

    May 6, 2012 | 6:49 am

  8. Guada says:

    You make learning so much fun !!! Thanks…. On my way to Divi…

    May 6, 2012 | 7:55 am

  9. kim e says:

    used to think that maltose was just like high fructose syrup or sugar syrup. learned something new today. =)

    May 6, 2012 | 8:39 am

  10. fabulosa says:

    thanks for the tip :)

    May 6, 2012 | 10:17 am

  11. Akeeno says:

    I have been experimenting on different flavors of sauce for our fried chicken recipe project. I saw some glucose syrup at SM Hypermarket last friday but was hesitant to buy because it did not say on the label that it is for marinades and sauces. I am now confident with maltose after reading your post. Thank you, MM for the infos. :)

    May 6, 2012 | 12:15 pm

  12. Chinky says:

    Thanks for the tip on maltose,MM.

    bettyq, will try it oncandied sweet potatoes!

    May 6, 2012 | 6:37 pm

  13. juls says:

    MM, have you tried glazing this over lechon? just a wild thought…

    May 8, 2012 | 8:57 am

  14. Betchay says:

    I use glucose for my fondant recipe.I wonder if it can be substituted for maltose

    May 11, 2012 | 11:43 am

  15. Jeanette says:

    I purchased some the same brand of Maltose in your image to make char sui for the first time. It came out very good, but the maltose was super thick and hard to use. It was NOT pourable and since so much of it stuck to the spoon, there was much wasted. Is there an easier way to use this? Would heating it in the microwave a bit make it pourable?

    Jun 2, 2013 | 12:29 am

  16. Martin says:

    Is the place Bee Tin same as Eng Bee tin?

    Aug 6, 2013 | 8:25 pm


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