These salt and pepper pork chops from Christopher Kimball are covered in a spicy pepper and cornstarch mixture and pan fried until tender. They’re topped with scallions, cilantro, and chiles for an easy riff on the classic Chinese dish.
Adapted from Christopher Kimball | Milk Street: The World in a Skillet | Voracious, 2022
The salt-and-pepper treatment is a Cantonese technique applied to meat, seafood, and tofu. The protein typically is deep-fried, but here we opt to pan-sear pork that we first dust in cornstarch seasoned generously with Sichuan pepper, black pepper, and cayenne.
In a classic salt-and-pepper dish, chiles and garlic are quickly fried and tossed with the cooked protein for big, bold, in-your-face flavors. We, however, finish the pan-seared pork chops with a fresh, punchy uncooked mix of sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, minced chiles, rice vinegar, and grated ginger.
The easiest way to grind the tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorns for this recipe is in an electric spice grinder. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.–Christopher Kimball
Salt and Pepper Pork Chops FAQs
Can I use bone-in pork chops?
We recommend you stick to boneless loin chops or cutlets that are 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. They’ll cook quickly and evenly.
What is five-spice powder?
Five-spice is a blend of herbs and spices, four of which are cinnamon, fennel, star anise, and cloves. Generally, you’ll see Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorns or sand ginger as the fifth spice.
What should I serve with these pork chops?
Serve these easy pan fried pork chops with steamed rice and a cucumber salad for an easy weeknight meal.
Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
These Cantonese-inspired salt and pepper pork chops are coated in spiced cornstarch and pan-seared until golden. They’re topped with a spicy scallion, cilantro, and chile mixture. An easy, gluten-free, weeknight meal.
In a medium bowl, toss together the scallions, cilantro, chile, vinegar, ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
In a wide, shallow dish, mix together the cornstarch, Sichuan pepper, cayenne pepper, five-spice, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Dredge the cutlets in the cornstarch mixture, turning to coat both sides and pressing so the mixture adheres, then transfer to a large plate, stacking or shingling as needed.
In a 12-inch (30-cm) nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add half of the cutlets and cook until browned on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the cutlets and cook until golden brown on the second sides, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil. Cook the remaining cutlets in the same way, using the oil remaining in the skillet.
Spoon the scallion-cilantro mixture onto the chops and serve.
Serving: 2chopsCalories: 465kcal (23%)Carbohydrates: 9g (3%)Protein: 37g (74%)Fat: 30g (46%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 114mg (38%)Sodium: 813mg (35%)Potassium: 747mg (21%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 499IU (10%)Vitamin C: 7mg (8%)Calcium: 40mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
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Originally published June 17, 2022
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