(As Featured in May2014 Nourish Magazine) These Caramelised Sugarfree Pork Chops are sweet, juicy and a breeze to make and with the addition of braised greens quite healthy too. Other pork cuts can also be used – both pork belly and spare ribs are great in this dish.
You know those crispy, juicy caramelised pork bites that can be found at many of the city’s Asianesque restaurants? Cooked in a sugary masterstock then deep fried and coated in a thick layer of caramel? My head’s spinning just thinking about the amount of sugar in those…
However, I do like the concept, so my version of caramelised pork chops sans the sugar is pretty simple really and with the addition of braised greens quite healthy too. Oh, by the way, did you know that both leek and bok choy have a knack for helping our bodies metabolise fat? Perfect if you prefer to use a slightly fattier cut of pork like the pork belly or spare ribs, which are a more affordable cut per kilo too.
I’d encourage you to find free-range pork chops or whichever cut you prefer and use organic stock because it tastes “fresher” – some regular brands have that burnt bottom of the pan aroma lingering around… From then on in it’s pretty simple: just mix the stock with some spices and rice syrup, pour over the meat in a roasting dish, seal with foil and shove it in the oven. For the next one and a half hours
relax clean the house, wash up, do the washing, take kids to music lessons or just take in the wonderful aromas of Asian spices that will begin to fill your house while doing any of the above.
Caramelised Pork Chops with Braised Greens
For the Caramelised Pork Chops:
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1/3 cup rice syrup
- 1 tsp five spice powder
- 4 pork chops
- 1 sprig spring onions sliced
- 1 red long chilli seeds removed, sliced
For the Braised Greens:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 in leek white part only, sliced lengthwayshalf
- 1 bunch boy choy sliced lengthwaysin halves
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- steamed rice
- Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced, 350F, gas mark 4).
- Mix together stock, soy sauce, rice syrup and five spice powder. Pour mixture into a baking dish large enough to hold the chops. Arrange chops in the dish and sprinkle over with sliced spring onions and chilli. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the pork chops are tender.
- (If you would like to use the same pan for the greens, simply toss them with olive oil and add them on top of the chops for the last 15 minutes of cooking then sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve).
- Heat oil in a medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add leeks and allow to caramelise on both sides before adding the bok choy. Stir fry for another minute, then add water, cover and lower heat to low. Braise for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.
- Serve caramelised pork chops with steamed rice and braised greens. Garnish with extra spring onion and chilli, if you like.