Chinese Five-Spice Lacquered Pork Chops ~ Fried Cabbage

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I love the aroma of Chinese Five-Spice. I even carried it in my purse for a few days after I picked up a packet from my local spice shop. It was an accident at first, but after I discovered it I was reluctant to remove this wonderful sachet from my bag. Luckily, I was rewarded with a most delicious and unusual dish. The chops were cooked “Peking” style over water. An interesting technique that produced juicy chops with a slightly crisped exterior. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Florence Lin’s Chinese Regional Cookbook (Hawthorn Books, 1975) that I found on myrecipes.com. The recipe for Fried Cabbage was pulled from allrecipes.com.

CHINESE FIVE-SPICE LACQUERED PORK CHOPS
(4 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 boneless center-cut pork chops, each about 1 in. thick (about 2 lbs. total)
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup or honey

Preparation:

1. In a medium bowl, mix garlic, salt, brown sugar, five-spice powder, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 tbsp. water. Add pork chops to marinade, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours, turning several times.

2. Preheat oven to 325°. Fill a roasting pan with enough water to come 1 in. up sides and put on bottom rack of oven. Insert a 12-in. metal skewer through all 4 chops, about 1/2 in. from edge. Space chops about 1 in. apart on skewer. Pull out top rack of oven halfway, making sure rack is still supported and level, and very carefully lower the skewer crosswise onto rack so meat goes between the bars and skewer rests on rack. Slowly push rack back into oven, then move pan of water directly beneath hanging meat.

3. Bake chops 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 425° and cook 10 minutes more. Pour corn syrup or honey and remaining 1 tbsp. soy sauce into a shallow dish and mix to combine. Transfer pork chops from skewer into honey/soy mixture, rolling to coat, then thinly slice each chop.

FRIED CABBAGE

Ingredients:

◾5 slices bacon, chopped
◾1-1/4 cup chopped onion
◾6 cups cabbage, cut into thin wedges
◾2 tablespoons water
◾1 pinch white sugar
◾salt and pepper to taste
◾1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation:

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon, and set aside.
2. Cook onion in the hot bacon grease until tender. Add cabbage, and stir in water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook until cabbage wilts, about 15 minutes. Stir in bacon. Splash with vinegar before serving.

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