Pan-fried pork chops are a basic dish that can be modified and edited according to the culture. They can be served with sausage gravy for an American version, simmered in eggs and a soy sauce mix for a Japanese version, and topped with tomato sauce and melted Parmesan for an Italian version. The same dish even has numerous names according to different countries, including but not limited to Pork Milanese, Tonkatsu, and Pork Schnitzel. Today I'm preparing Taiwanese pork chops, pan-fried pork chops that have been marinated in a soy sauce-based mixture. An easy-to-prepare meal that delivers on flavor!
Taiwanese Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops bone-in
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 2 star anise
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 2 garlic minced
- 1 cup sweet potato starch
- oil for frying
- Make 4 small slits around the edges of the pork chops, evenly spaced, to prevent the pork from curling when fried. Lightly pound pork chops with a mallet until ¼ inch thick. Combine ingredients for marinade from soy sauce - minced garlic and combine with the pork chop, turning to coat. Marinate for one hour.
- Heat saute pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to fill the skillet to a depth of ¼ inch. Remove pork chops from marinade and dredge in the sweet potato starch, shaking off excess. Carefully lay pork chops in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Flip pork chop and continue to cook on the other side until golden brown. Remove from oil and transfer to a paper-towel-lined tray to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining pork chops and serve with rice.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Taiwanese pork chops differ from other culture's pork chops for two reasons, the marinade and the sweet potato flour.
Start by prepping the pork. Cut slits around the edges of the pork to prevent the pork from curling up while cooking. Pound the pork with a mallet to tenderize the meat and allow even cooking. Combine the seasonings for the marinade including five-spice, star anise, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and spring onions and add the pork, turning to coat both sides. To get maximum flavor, allow the pork to marinate for at least one hour.
Once the pork is marinated, it is ready to be fried. Unlike other pan-fried pork recipes that use egg, flour, and panko, this version only requires sweet potato starch. When shopping for this item, make sure to purchase potato starch or potato starch flour instead of potato flour. Potato starch is a very fine, bland flour while potato flour is a heavy flour with a stronger potato taste.
Coating the pork chops in potato starch allows the pork to get crispy faster. The result? Beautifully browned chops in no time. Traditionally Taiwanese pork chops are served on a bed of rice with several side dishes ranging from pickled cabbage, minced meat sauce and boiled eggs, pickled daikon, and seared tofu. An easy to prepare and balanced meal that is suitable for kids and adults alike!
For more Taiwanese inspiration check out this Taiwanese minced meat recipe!