When browsing through old cookbooks in the library, I ran across a few different Chinese pork recipes that looked really good. One of them was Peking Pork Chops, of which I found a couple of different recipes across two books, and a ton of recipes later online.
As I often do, I chose what I thought were the best-testing ingredients out of a wide variety, along with the most reasonable cooking method. The key to these is to use thin-cut boneless chops that are pounded even thinner. The result is a quick-cooking and tender piece of meat.
By the way, shouldn’t this dish now be called “Beijing Pork Chops”?
What you’ll need:
For the chops:
- 1.5-2 pounds pork chops (boneless or cut the bones away), cut into 2-inch pieces (see photos). Use thin-cut chops and pound them a bit—with whatever you pound meat with at home—until they’re about ¼-inch thick (or around that thick).
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1T rice wine vinegar, or sake
- 2T cornstarch
- Oil for shallow frying
- Green or red Thai chilies, seeded and sliced as an optional garnish
For the simmering sauce:
- 3T ketchup
- 3T rice wine vinegar
- 3T water
- 2T okonomiyaki, takoyaki or Worcestershire sauce (they’re all similar)
- 2T sugar
- 1T hoisin sauce
- 1T sweet chili sauce (for spring rolls)
- 1T oyster sauce
You can probably eliminate either the hoisin or oyster sauce and supplement it with more of the one you didn’t omit. It wouldn’t drastically alter the flavor.
What to do:
Whisk together the beaten eggs, rice wine vinegar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. These need to marinade for a while, so you can do that in a shallow bowl or use a zip-lock freezer bag. Give them at least 45 minutes to marinade, though an unanticipated change of cooking plans left mine marinating for 1.5 days, and they still turned out great.
After you begin the chops marinating, prepare the sauce by whisking all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and setting it aside.
Using a large, heavy fry pan, add a little bit of vegetable oil to the bottom and fry the pork pieces in a single layer. This may take a couple of batches, and it takes 2-4 minutes per side at medium heat. Add a bit more oil before each batch. Transfer the cooked pieces to a paper-towel blotter to absorb any extra oil.
Now for the magic part. Return the fry pan to low-medium heat and add the sauce, bringing it to a gentle simmer. Reintroduce the pork and turn each piece to get it well coated with sauce. Gently simmer until the sauce thickens.
Serve hot over rice or Asian noodles.
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