Salt and Pepper Pork Chops

No need to order take-out! These Salt and Pepper Pork Chops taste just like your favorite Chinese restaurants’. They’re golden and crispy on the outside and super moist and flavorful on the inside, using one cooking technique. They’re perfect with steamed rice!

Guys, you seriously need to give me a pat on the back! If you’ve been following Kawaling Pinoy for a while, you know I love copycatting Chinese restaurant favorites. And if I may say so myself, I think I’ve done a pretty good job recreating the unique flavors of dishes such as beef broccoli, shrimp Kung pao, and chow mein at home.

But these salt and pepper pork chops, my friends, I hit the bull right in the eye! I was ready to enjoy for lunch the batch I made today when G walked in from his Jujitsu class and said, “You ordered delivery?” They, indeed, look (and taste!) just like from the restaurants!

I’ve tried numerous times in the past to crack the code on these pork chops but always unsuccessfully. My many attempts were either too dry, not crispy enough, lacking in flavor or all of the above.

However, last weekend I made Singapore-style coffee ribs, took one bite test A.K.A one big bone, and had an AHA moment. I realized the freshly fried pork ribs had the same texture and taste I’ve wanted to replicate for some time.

I rushed to the store to pick up a couple of pounds of pork chops, and in an hour, I was moon-walking in the kitchen with uncontained glee. Woot hoot! Tender meat, crispy coating, full flavor, my they turned out just like what you’ll find at your favorite Chinese restaurant!

Secret technique
The simple trick to this crunchy yet tender pork is a cooking technique called velveting.

Meat or seafood is first marinated in a mixture of egg whites and cornstarch and then blanched in hot oil or water before stir-frying with other ingredients. The marinade acts as a protective seal that locks in moisture, keeping the meat lusciously soft.

Cooking steps
For best results, choose bone-in pork chops that are about 1/2-inch thick. If using boneless, adjust cook time as needed.
In a thick-bottomed pan, heat oil to an optimal temperature of 350 F to 375 F. Use enough and the right kind of oil. Safflower, peanut, canola, or grapeseed oil have high smoke points and work well for deep-frying.
Add the coated pork chops to the hot oil and deep-fry, turning on sides, until golden and crispy. Do not overcrowd the pan and cook in batches as needed.
Using tongs, remove fried pork from the pan. Drain on a wire rack or metal colander, not on paper towels, to keep from getting soggy.
In a wide pan, add about 2 tablespoons of the oil used in frying.
Add minced garlic and cook until lightly browned. Makes sure to stir frequently to prevent from burning and turning bitter.
Add sliced jalapenos, green onions, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook stirring regularly, for about 30 seconds or just until softened.
Add deep-fried pork chops and toss until heated through and coated with seasonings.

How to serve
Serve with steamed for lunch or dinner meal. Make it a complete Asian feast with green bean and mushroom or tofu and asparagus vegetable stir-fry!
As with most fried foods, these pork chops are best enjoyed freshly cooked. If you do have leftovers, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the pork chops in a glass baking dish and add a tablespoon of water per pork chop. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350 F oven until completely heated through. Although they will lose their crunchiness, the gentle steaming will keep them from overdrying.

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