I'm reaching back to August 2008 for this one. Actually, I don't know why I haven't made this dish since! It's so simple and so good. This recipe really deserves better photographs, but I think even taken with my old point-and-shoot, the pork chops look pretty yummy. And sometimes, I just feel like being contrary. As if I want to prove that good recipes don't need a fancy camera.
Chinese Deep-Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Salt is a staple at Hong Kong cafes. Serve it without the minced jalapenos and garlic and it's a staple at Taiwanese restaurants too. I didn't go off of any recipes, but used what I like in typical Chinese marinades. For the spicy salt, instead of adding MSG to the salt like some restaurants do, I did a mixture of minced garlic and jalapenos with just a dash of salt.
I cut the pork chops into two-bite-sized pieces, roughly about 2-inches. Marinated them with soy sauce, rice wine, and a bit of Chinese 5-spice powder. Then coated them in a mixture of flour and corn starch, and deep-fried them until crispy. And finally, I tossed the pork chop pieces with minced jalapenos and garlic. The result was layers of flavor and texture. Delicious.
Was it like what I ate in Chinese restaurants? Even better! And it only took me half an hour from start to finish.
Chinese Deep-Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Salt
For 2 servings as a meal, or 4 servings as a side, you'll need:
2 or 3 pork chops, about 3/4 to 1 lb's worth, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese hsiao xing rice wine
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
Oil for deep-frying
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, finely minced
2 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
Cut pork chops into 2-inch-sized pieces. Marinate with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tblsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder. Set aside.
If you're not short on time, let the meat marinate for 15 minutes or so.
Then, heat your oil for deep-frying. I prefer to fry on medium-high heat, but your stove may vary.
Mince 3 cloves of garlic, 1 jalapeno, and 2 cherry tomatoes or a red jalapeno. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch.
Dredge the pork chop pieces into the flour/cornstarch mixture. You might need to do two coats and shake off excess flour.
Deep fry until golden. Drain the crispy pork chop pieces and set aside when done.
In another pan or wok, add a bit of oil and toss in the minced garlic and jalapenos with just a dash of salt. I added in a few cherry tomatoes for color, but that's not essential to the dish.
When the garlic has softened, add the fried pork chop pieces and toss until the spicy salt mixture has evenly mixed.
Plate and serve.
Mmm. Love the bits of garlic and jalapeno in each bite.
Serve with rice if you wish. Or eat as a snack.
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