Black Pepper Pork Chops
It seems black pepper is not very commonly seen in Asian cuisine but actually Cantonese do use quite a few of them since western seasoning also produced effects on Cantonese cooking. You could even find Cantonese black pepper sauce in most of the Asian grocery stores.
Well, in fact there would be no difficulty making black pepper sauce home, just a combination of freshly ground black pepper, soy sauce and sugar. In order to make the sauce ‘blacker’, dark soy sauce is usually used. However in my recipe, I want to exaggerate the aroma of black pepper, so wouldn’t use too much soy sauce, instead, I use brown sugar for colouring, anyway, sugar is necessary.
Once you have mixed the perfect black pepper sauce, you could make pan-fried or barbecued pork, beef, chicken, seafood, or root vegetables with it. In this recipe, I would make a simple braised pork chops with it. The ingredients can be easily obtained and no difficult cooking skills are required.
Pork chops, 500g. Any cuts of pork chops would do, with or without bones;
Garlic sprouts, a small bunch, about 50g. Garlic sprout is very garlicky, I think it matches well with black pepper. If you can’t obtain, use spring onion instead;
Black pepper, about 2tbsp;
Brown sugar, 2tbsp. It’s not too much, brown sugar is less sugary than usual table sugar;
Chinese aged vinegar, 1tbsp, use balsamic instead if you don’t have or you don’t want to buy a big bottle just for one dish. Vinegar can tenderize meat, balance saltiness and sweetness, you barely taste any sourness if adding a little;
Light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, cornstarch.
How to do –
1. Loose up the meat double-sided with meat hammer;
2. Marinade the meat with a thin layer of salt, black pepper, a few drops of light soy sauce and cornstarch. Don’t worry about how much but just make sure not too much salt and soy sauce. Layer them up so that both sides are seasoned, keep in fridge for half an hour;
3. Prepare other ingredients. 1tbsp of black pepper roughly crushed; garlic sprouts chopped;
4. Let’s start cooking! Heat generous oil in pan in high heat, seal the meat till golden double sides. Remove the oil from the pan and you can keep it to fry vegetable later;
5. Put in all sealed meat, black pepper flakes, 2tbsp of brown sugar, 1tbsp of Chinese aged vinegar, 1tsp of dark soy sauce, 2tbsp of light soy sauce, and water, lid on, bring to boil then simmer for 20mins in medium heat, flip over once to make sure all pork braised in sauce;
6. Lid off, sprinkle the garlic sprouts in, mix well, have a taste and adjust with tiny bit more sugar or salt. Then turn up the heat to reduce the sauce. I won’t reduce too much. The sauce is so tasty for rice or noodle. Garlic sprout is a little tougher so it needs more cooking time than spring onion. Spring onion barely needs any cooking, just sprinkle on before serving;
7. Serving with steamed rice is highly recommended!