During March 2000, which was not a particularly busy month, we sold 1,581 Mongolian Pork Chops. Yikes! In the winter we serve them with braised red cabbage; hot, sweet Chinese-style mustard sauce; and mashed potatoes. In the summer, we might switch to sugar snap peas or haricots verts. You'll have extra marinade, which keeps well, refrigerated, and can be used for baby back ribs or chicken (especially chicken wings, which when smoked then grilled are great). There are two special ingredients that really make the marinade: hoisin sauce, which is a slightly sweet Chinese bean paste, and a black bean paste with chiles that is pretty spicy. Look for them in Asian markets. Try to find brands that do not contain MSG.
(10-ounce) center-cut double pork chops
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 scallion, white and two-thirds of
the green parts, minced
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Lee Kum Kee black bean chile sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Trim the excess meat and fat away from the ends of the chop bones, leaving them exposed. Put the pork chops in a clean plastic bag and lightly sprinkle with water to prevent the meat from tearing when pounded. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound the meat down to an even 1-inch thickness, being careful not to hit the bones. Alternatively, have your butcher cut thinner chops and serve 2 per serving. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Coat the pork chops liberally with the marinade and marinate for 3 hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Place the chops on the grill and grill for 5 minutes on each side, rotating them a quarter turn after 2 to 3 minutes on each side to produce nice crosshatch marks. It's good to baste with some of the marinade as the meat cooks. As with all marinated meats, you want to go longer and slower on the grill versus shorter and hotter, because if the marinated meat is charred, it may turn bitter. The pork is ready when it registers 139 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Napa Valley Cookbook
by Cindy Pawlcyn
Ten Speed Press
Hardcover (cloth), 288 pages
$39.95 (CAN $64.00)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2002
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