Pork Chop Crusty Roll
Hong Kongers love all things pork. Pork offal, porky snacks, roasted pork bao, braised pork, sweet and sour pork… You name it, we can cook it. These fried pork chop buns, with the chop bone kept in to stay true to Hong Kong style eating, will make you salivate throughout the whole cooking process.
2 pork chops, on the bone (approx 200-250g each)
2 crusty rolls of your choice
vegetable oil, for frying
4 leaves of lettuce – baby gem or iceberg recommended for a good crunch
Japanese mayonnaise (you can find this in many Asian supermarkets)
For the marinade
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 clove of garlic
a pinch of five-spice
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp cornflour
Keeping the meat on the bone, slice into the edges of each pork chop 3 or 4 times, creating slits all the way through that will help keep the meat flat when cooked. Then, turn your knife or cleaver upside down and, using the blunt end, bash the meat as many times as possible to flatten it out, making tracks along the pork. This will begin to tenderise the chop and allow the marinade to soak into the meat well.
Once flattened, a similar thickness to an escalope, mix the marinade ingredients together and massage into the chops until they are completely coated. Leave in the fridge, ideally overnight, and for a minimum of 1 hour, to marinate. Slice the crusty rolls in half, ready for the fried pork chops. Cut the tomato into thin slices, and make sure your lettuce is washed and patted dry so it maintains its crunch. Traditionally in Hong Kong, the chops are deep-fried to order. Half-fill a wok or deep-fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C, or use a wooden skewer or wooden chopstick to test by placing the tip in the oil: if the wood starts to fizz after a second or so, the oil is hot enough. Deep-fry the chops for 5 minutes (turning once), until golden brown, then place on a few sheets of kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. You can also shallow-fry the chops. Pour roughly 5mm of oil into a large frying pan, bring to a medium-high heat, then place the chops in the frying pan one by one. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown all over, then place on a few sheets of kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. Once the chops are done, put them directly into the crusty rolls, followed by a couple of slices of tomato and some lettuce. Squeeze a dollop of Japanese mayonnaise over the top, put the crusty top on the roll, and serve.
Extracted from Hong Kong Diner by Jeremy Pang (Quadrille, approx €16.50). Photography © Kris Kirkham.