Southeast Asian Pork Chops

Good Friday morning, everyone!  While two of my three punks have knocked back three days of school so far, my Pickle (in the middle) will be starting on Tuesday, and she is purely chompin’ at the bit to go SCHOOL SUPPLY SHOPPING. I’m having to keep her occupied in the short-term by assigning her to random acts of housekeeping while I complete this post.  One thing about this kid – she’s motivated, which is good for me, ‘cause I could keep her busy with chores until around the 10th of never!

Anyway, I LOVED school supply shopping as a kid.  What girl didn’t – it was the best part of going back to school, right?  How fun to unpack and label (in best cursive, of course) the unblemished notebooks and shiny folders, my box of 24 perfectly sharpened Crayola Crayons, and a spotlessly pristine pencil case.  Everyone loves a fresh start, right?

And speaking of fresh, before the Pickle requires me to find her more menial labor, I’ll tell you about this fabulous pork chop recipe!

I’ve been doing a little bit of research about the three main types of Asian cuisine:  North East (China, Japan, and Korea), South West (India and Pakistan, for instance), and South East (Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore).  Today’s recipe, as you can tell, has a definite South East Asian flare, and it is deeeeee-licious!

You can recognize a South East Asian – inspired dish by these key ingredients:  citrus juice (usually lime); fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, and mint); salty, pungent fish sauce (as opposed to soy sauce used in NE Asia); and the all-important fiery chili pepper.  A normal SE Asian meal has no ‘courses’; all of the foods are served and eaten together, which is why I shot the whole she-bang for you today.

The pork chops (on sale, did you really have to wonder?) are pounded thin before they take a swim in an incredibly flavorful marinade of honey, garlic, onion, and fish sauce. Sweet, salty, and sour all at the same time – trust me, this stuff is AMAZING!    I can’t wait to try this on pork tenderloin, or chicken thighs and wings.

After a quick turn on a very hot grill, the chops are served alongside steaming hot Jasmine rice, and topped with a cold carrot slaw.  I thought my kids would turn their noses up at this dinner, but would you believe – there aren’t ANY LEFTOVERS?  My youngest ate every last bite and pronounced it to be “really good chicken”.  Go figure.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did – let me know what you think!


Serves:  5

Source:  Adapted from

  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¼ c. Asian fish sauce (find this on the top shelf in the Asian aisle)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • ¼ c. minced yellow onion (the original recipe called for shallots, but I forgot them!)
  • 2 t. ground black pepper
  • 6 boneless pork chops (on sale), pounded to about ¼ to ½” thick
  • Jasmine Rice and Carrot Relish

In a large glass measuring cup, combine the oil, honey, fish sauce, garlic, onion, and pepper.  Place the pounded pork chops in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade into the bag.  Press out the air and refrigerate overnight (I only had 7 hours and they still turned out great).

Fire up your grill.  Brush the grill with oil and cook the pork chops over high heat until nicely charred and just cooked through, about three minutes on the first side and two on the second.  Serve immediately with the rice and the carrot slaw.


  • 1 1/3 c. jasmine rice
  • 2 1/3 c. water
  • 2 T. lime juice (please use fresh lime juice and pass on the green bottle, blech)
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ t. honey
  • 1 T. chopped fresh mint, plus additional for garnish if desired
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

In a saucepan, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over low heat for 12 minutes.  Quickly remove the lid and wipe off any water that clings to it.  Immediately recover the rice and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes.  Fluff the rice with a fork and cover.

In a bowl, combine the lime juice with the vegetable oil, fish sauce, mint, garlic, and chili.  Add the carrots and toss to coat with the sauce.  Serve the carrot slaw over the rice.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | August 28th, 2009