The first time I had salt & pepper pork chops was at a Chinese restaurant in Luganville, Vanuatu. I was smitten. I have never tasted something so distinctively flavored with such a light and crisp coat. It was so perfect I decided I needed to make my own version. Although these are not exactly like the one’s I am talking about, they are pretty close and absolutely worth the extra work. I serve these on top of a bed of crispy rice noodles.
This pork chop recipe has a lot of ingredients but they all contribute to the exquisite balanced result. The pork chops need to marinade for a minimum of one hour and up to overnight. The longer you marinate them the more flavorful your meat will be. So please take this into account when making this delectable pork chop recipe.
The coating for these pork chops is very light due to the cornstarch. Cornstarch is also known as corn flour.
This is what you are going to need for this fantastic pork chop recipe:
FOR THE SALT & PEPPER:
2 TBS coarse salt
1 TBS Sichuan peppercorns or ½ tsp. white pepper
1/8th tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
Heat a small skillet. Add the salt and Sichuan peppercorns (if using). Cook at high temperature, stirring constantly, until salt turns a light gray color. Allow salt to cool.
Place the salt, peppercorns or white pepper and five spice powder in a small mortar or a coffee grinder. Crush until you have a fine powder. Set aside.
Note: Any left overs will keep for about six months in a sealed container in a cool and dry place.
FOR THE PORK:
8 small, thin pork chops
Rinse and pat fry the chops. Trim off all the excess fat. Cut the meat thinly, on the bias, against the grain. Reserve some meat around the bones. Place meat and bones into a large sealable plastic bag.
FOR THE MARINADE:
1/8th cup sherry
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
A few drops sesame oil
4 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
½ chili pepper – seeded and membrane removed (opt)
½ TBS salt and pepper preparation
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Pour marinade into plastic bag – over the pork. Seal the bag, making sure to remove all excess air. Roll the meat in the marinade to make sure it is all coated. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to over night.
FOR THE COATING:
1 cup cornstarch
¼ cup flour
½ TBS salt and pepper preparation
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Remove the pork strips from the marinade and coat them well – shaking off all of the excess. Place the pork on a platter.
2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
4 scallions – cut diagonally into 2 inch pieces
1 chili pepper – seeded, membrane removed and cut into strips
2 garlic cloves – finely sliced
Heat the oil in a wok or deep skillet, until it reaches 350 degrees. Add the pork – working in batches – and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. The thickness of your meat will determine the cooking time. Once the batter is nicely browned and the pork is cooked through, remove it onto a paper towel lined plate.
Cook the pork in batches – making sure the oil gets hot again before adding the next one. It is important that you use very hot oil in order to have a nice crunchy, non- greasy result. Once you are done, remove all but 3 TBS of the oil in the pan.
Add the scallions, chili pepper and garlic. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes and return the cooked pork. Stir-fry for another couple of minutes – until the meat is heated through. Serve immediately on rice or crispy rice noodles. Enjoy!
CALORIES 386.42; FAT 18.57 grs (sat 4.74; mono 8.22; poly 4.28); PROTEIN 45.91 grs ; FIBER 0.39 grs; CARBS 8.88 grs; CHOLESTEROL 101.12 mg; IRON 1.35 mg; SODIUM 1343.05 mg; CALCIUM 20.22 mg