CANTONESE SALT AND PEPPER PORK CHOPS
The best pork chops are Chinese Salt and Pepper Pork Chops! My childhood memories of this meal date back to the small resort town of Liberty, New York, where I was a chubby youngster. My family and I made the two-hour drive to Manhattan’s Chinatown on the first Saturday of every month as a family tradition.
It has a Little House on the Prairie feel about it.
A wagon ride into town to buy coffee and flour from Mr. Whipple in the General Store. Only when there are more Chinese people.
Before going to see my grandparents, we’d eat dim sum and interact with our family members, including aunts and uncles, as well as our younger cousins. The butcher, Chinese bakery, and fresh vegetable booths would be packed on a Sunday morning.
Our next stop was a mom-and-pop general store, where everything was crammed in—cartons and crates were stacked in the tight hallways, and goods were hung from the ceiling above our heads—for assorted necessities.
After purchasing the next month’s supplies, we headed out to dine with our extended family on Sunday before the long drive back to Liberty. For dinner, we would always have this Cantonese pork chop meal with salt and pepper.
No matter where we eat in the world, we always get Salt & Pepper Pork Chops. One of the most popular options is the Salt and Pepper Pork Chop.
The Cantonese version is our favorite. If you go into a Burger King expecting a Big Mac, you’ll walk out with an unsatisfactory Whopper, which is all the fault of your own foolishness. Even if it’s good, it’s not exactly what you were hoping for.
Pork chops are typically served with the bone in, but the butcher thins them off before serving. If you’re making this at home, we recommend using boneless pork cutlets in order to make things easier. Pork shoulder, for example, is a good option if you want it very fatty. It wouldn’t be complete without a smattering of fat.
This is the recipe, so let’s get started.
PORK AND MARINADE:
- 1 pound of pork shoulder (chopped into 4 to 5 inch wide pieces about 1/3 inch thick.)
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 1 ½ tablespoons of Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of five spice powder
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil
- ¼ cup of all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
REST OF THE DISH:
- 3 cups of peanut oil
- 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
- 3 thinly sliced crosswise long hot green peppers
- 1 thinly sliced crosswise long hot red pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- Use your hands to stir and coat the pork evenly with the marinade ingredients in a large basin. Allow 15 minutes for it to sit.
- Add the ingredients for the coating to a separate bowl, and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Once the pork is thoroughly covered, combine it with the batter and put it aside.
- If you want the oil to bubble a little, put a slice of garlic in and set the heat up to 250 degrees in a small saucepan. Just before it turns a light brown color, add the garlic (30 seconds). Drain it out onto a piece of paper towel. Garlic that has been browned will taste bitter.
- Fry the pork in batches at 380 degrees until golden brown and drain on paper towels.
- The remaining oil should be drained, and the wok should be heated to smoking point in a high-temperature oven. Salt and white pepper, as well as the peppers, are added to the wok and tossed for 15-30 seconds to release their fragrance before being removed from the heat. Add the pork chops and the fried garlic after the heat has been turned off. Time to hone your pow wok talents and combine everything. Serve with white rice as soon as possible!