Here is an easy pork chop recipe love by all Malaysians.
So what is so special about this Hainanese Pork Chop, which is the quintessential staple of the Malaysian Chinese restaurants?
- First, the recipe includes cream crackers (you read it correctly!)
- Secondly, it is the culinary wonder of the cross-cultural amalgamation of the Chinese and European cuisine.
- Lastly, you won’t get this Hainanese pork chops at Hainan Island of China.
Enough to keep you suspended?
Made it your own by following this easy pork chop recipe. The preparation is quite straightforward.
Let’s get started.
How to make pork chops – The Hainanese style
This Chinese pork chop recipe is invented by the Hainanese people who resided in the Malay Peninsula during the era when this land is the settlement of the British, the Dutch and the Portuguese. Many Hainanese worked as chefs for the westerners, and hence they create dishes that incorporate the essence of the western and Chinese cooking.
Hainanese pork chops are prepared by marinating the pork, deep fried and then serve with a gravy cooked with onions, tomatoes, and garlic.
1. Marinate the pork chops
Pork loin is the preferred cut for making the pork chops. Butterfly each piece of pork loin by slicing along the thickness of the loin, but leaving the end intact to make a butterfly shape. The pork should be about half an inch thick. If you cut it too thick, the crushed cracker coated on the surface will burn before the interior of the pork is adequately cooked.
The marinade consists mainly of the standard ingredients for Chinese cooking, such as ginger juice and light soy sauce.
But there is a surprising addition to the list that makes it unique, Worcestershire sauce. So it is an Asian pork chop with western influence.
- Butterfly the pork loin makes it appear bigger and better for presentation.
- Pound the pork chop with a meat mallet or the back of your knife to tenderize it.
- Marinate the pork chops for at least half a day (no harm to keep in the refrigerator overnight) will tenderize the meat as well as getting all the flavor infused in the pork chops.
- You can also marinate the pork chops in advance, and deep freeze it. Stack up the marinated pork chops separated with plastic sheets so that you can remove each pork chop easily.
The British, Portuguese and Dutch are the countries that have settled in peninsula Malaysia in different eras since the fifteenth century. After several centuries, the culinary practice of different culture has firmly accepted by the locals. Many Malaysians like to cook Western food although most of them have a vague idea about the country of origin. They also attempt to incorporate imported ingredients into the local cuisines. The use of Worcestershire sauce in the Hainanese chicken chop is one good example.
Therefore Hainanese pork chops are created by the Malaysian Chinese, and chances are it is a localized version, meaning the Hainanese in the Hainan Island may not be even aware of such dish is exist.
2. Prepare the coating ingredients for deep-frying
We are using the standard breading method to coat the pork chops before deep frying.
The exception is to use crushed cream crackers instead of breadcrumbs.
Breading prevents moisture loss from the meat during deep frying. It helps to keep the pork chops moist and tender while creating a crispy crust on the surface.
The golden brown exterior also makes the deep-fried pork chops looks appealing.
This technique includes three steps:
- 1. Dredging the pork chops into the flour. The flour helps to let the egg and the crackers adhere to the pork chops. I like to use an equal part of all-purpose flour and cornflour (cornstarch). Cornstarch yields a crispy coating that can last longer.
- 2. Moisten it with beaten eggs. Eggs improve the flavor of the coating and let the crushed crackers adhere firmly on the surface.
- 3. Coat the pork chops with the crushed cream crackers.
Crackers create a crunchy texture with attractive presentation.
If you like deep-fried meat/chicken coated with a sauce similar to the Hainanese pork chops, here are the links to the recipes that you might interested:
Chicken karaage- Japanese fried chicken
Chicken katsu recipe- How to make the best Japanese fried chicken
Deep-fried the pork chops
Deep-fried the pork chops in hot oil until both sides are golden brown. Use medium heat so that the pork will cook thoroughly at the same time when the crust turns golden brown.
It takes about 4 minutes if you use the deep-fryer. There is no need to flip over since the frying basket prevents the pork chops from touching the surface of the fryer. If you use a skillet or a large saucepan, deep fried two minutes and turn over for another two minutes.
You can use a deep-fryer to fry the pork chops. However, the electric deep fryer required plenty of oil and might not be feasible for home use. I use a saucepan which can hold more than one inch deep of oil to deep-fried most of the food at home. It is more practical since it required less oil than the electric deep-fryer. Saucepan also worked better than the wok because of the flat bottom.
The only downside of using a saucepan is that you have to adjust the temperature manually.
Drained on a kitchen towel or a wire rack to remove excess oil.
Filter the excess oil after frying with a wire mesh strainer. Keep the oil for the next session of deep-frying.
3. Prepare the gravy
If Worcestershire sauce is an essential ingredient of the marinade, then tomato ketchup is equally necessary for making the easy pork chop recipe, Hainanese style.
- Start preparing the gravy by sautéing the minced garlic with some vegetable oil.
- After that, add the sliced onions and cook over low to medium heat until caramelized.
- Next, add the tomato wedges, green pea, tomato ketchup, white vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, light soy sauce, and water. Cook until the liquid start to thicken into a gravy.
- You may want to add more water or cook it down to a thick gravy. It depends on your preference, but I preferred the thicker version so that the gravy can effectively adhere to the chicken.
You can serve the pork chops by pouring the gravy on it, or keep the gravy separately to preserve the crunchiness of the pork chops. The coating is still crunchy for 20 minutes, which is long enough to remain crunchy for the guests
Now that I have shown you the easy pork chop recipe, Malaysian style. You can serve this Chinese pork chop along with potatoes chips and a simple salad, just like what you will get at the typical restaurants in Malaysia.
The Easy Pork Chop Recipe
For the pork and the marinade (A)
- 500g pork loin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp ginger juice
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
(B) For the coating for deep-frying
(C) For the gravy
- Cut the pork loin into one inch thick pieces. Butterfly it and pound it with a meat mallet.
- Marinate the pork with the ingredients in A for half a day. (Or overnight)
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade. Coat with flour, then beaten egg, and lastly the crushed crackers. Lightly press the cracker to let it stick onto the surface.
- Deep-fried the pork chops until it turns golden brown.
- Saute the minced garlic until aromatic. Add the sliced onion until and saute until soft and lightly caramelized.
- Add the remaining ingredients in C and cook until it reduces to a gravy.
- Serve either by pouring the gravy on the pork chops, or separately if you want to preserve the crispiness of the pork chops.
- Croley Foods Buttercream Crackers - Original Flavor, 8.8 oz (250g) 10 Count
- Secura Stainless Steel Deep Fryer with Basket, 3.2 Quart
- MICHELANGELO Nonstick Frying Pan Stone with Ultra Nonstick Granite Coating, 10 Inch Frying Pan with Lid, Nonstick Skillet Pfoa Free, Non toxic Rock Pan, Induction Compatible -10 inch
- IPOW IP01115 Stainless Steel Fine Tea Mesh Strainer Colander Sieve with Handle for Kitchen Food Rice Vegetable, Set of 3
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Serving Size:125g each
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 626 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 193mg Sodium: 1480mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 12g Protein: 41g