recipes

Habanero-marinated pork chops

While home, I’ve been helping my mom cook dinner almost every night so I can improve my skills. My mom had seen a recipe in Bon Appétit Magazine for Habanero-Marinated Pork Chops with Mustard Greens Slaw. She showed it to me, and it looked tasty and unique. We decided to make the pork chops, but leave out the mustard greens slaw.

The recipe serves four, but we only made three pork chops (although four is listed below from the original recipe). For the ingredients, you need:

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
  • 4 ½-inch-thick bone-in pork chops
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

The recipe called for us to use the back of a chef’s knife to lightly smash the lemongrass, and then thinly slice. However, we couldn’t find lemongrass stalks and settled for lemongrass paste instead. We guessed that 2 Tbsp. would suffice. We then combined the lemongrass, chile, garlic, orange juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and 4 Tbsp. vinegar in a small bowl.

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We put the marinade in a plastic bag with the pork chops, and we shook the bag (insert me singing “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift while I shake the bag). The bag was then placed in the refrigerator until the next evening when we prepared the pork chops for dinner.

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The next day, we placed the pork chops in the broiler and broiled them for 6-8 minutes instead of grilled them like the recipe suggested. When we tasted them, the pork chops had a nice subtle Asian flavor to them, but we spooned more sauce over them so we could taste it more. The recipe had called for us to prick the pork chops all over with a fork before marinating them, and then only marinate them in half of the sauce so you can pour the other half over them when you eat them. I think we would have gotten more flavor out of it had we done this. I normally don’t go out of my way to eat pork chops, but I really enjoyed this marinade and I would make this recipe again.

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