Locally pork chop or the German called it pork schnitzel is always associated with the Hainanese but I am unable to find any write up on Chinese website.
Why information in People’s Republic of China’s website is important? Well, any traditional Chinese cuisines will usually have a write up on the evolution of the cuisine. If there is none, chances are it is a localize version, meaning Hainanese in the Hainan Island may not even aware of the availability of such dish.
I tend to believe that this dish is associated with Hainanese. When I was a kid in Kuching, my late father used to buy pork chop from a Hainanese restaurant situated at Jalan Pandungan. However, the sauce is slightly different and that is how the family get to know mustard sauce. I remembered it was served with mustard sauce and some onion and green peas.
Besides this, i remember reading up some articles that many Hainanese immigrants were employed by the British officers during the colonization period as personal home chefs. In addition, the rich Peranakan families also employed them as chefs at home too. They were engaged in batches and that explains why they are very good at western cuisines and also peranakan food.
When the countries gain independence, many of them open their own kopitiam or coffee house that sells breads, cakes and etc. Their recipes were tailored made to suit local Chinese immigrant’s taste such as their unique scissor curry rice, these Hainanese pork chop rice and many special breads and roti’s. In fact, I have a close Hainanese relative who is in the age of about 80’s is very good at baking butter cake. In her age group, Chinese kuih is common but cakes are definitely not common and she has learned all these western bakes from their Hainanese families.
Therefore, I totally believed that this cuisine is related to local Hainanese cuisine and I have ever eaten at one of the Hainanese restaurant in Singapore too.The preparation is the same as the Western pork schnitzel (Recipe: Classic German Pork Schnitzel Recipe (德式炸猪排）) except that different spices and bread crumbs were not used. Instead, soda crackers crumbs was used.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4-6 adult servings
- 500 grams of pork chop *
- 1 teaspoon of five spice powder
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons of fermented soya bean (tau cheo) liquid
- 1.5 tablespoons of minced ginger garlic
- 1 egg
- 20 soda crackers
Gravy main Ingredients
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 50 grams of green peas
- 1 tomatoes, cut into small wedges
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
- 3 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce (substitutable with tomato ketchup)
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- 1.5 cups of plain water
- Pinches of salt
* In my opinion, any part of the pork can also be used if properly treated though the common one is tenderloin.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Use the back of a big knife or meat tenderizer to lightly hit the meat so as to break the meat fibre. This will ensure tenderer meat and not a piece of tough chewy meat. Put the meat in a bowl and add in all the marinating ingredients. and let it marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Put all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir until well mix and set aside.
- Pound the soda crackers until fine. You can also use a food processor to do the job.
- Heat up a pan of oil with about 2 cm tall.
- Crack the eggs onto the marinated meat. Stir until well combined. Take one piece of marinated pork chop and coat adequately with the soda crackers crumbs.
- Place the well coated meat to the hot oil carefully. Reduce the heat to medium. Do not touch the meat for the first 4 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip over the meat and deep fry until almost golden brown. Before draining, INCREASE THE HEAT TO HIGH, deep fry both sides for an additional 2 minutes each to force out the oil trapped inside the meat. Drain using kitchen towel and place the schnitzel separately without overlapping in an airy area.
- To test the doneness, use a skewer to pierce through the meat, if it can be easily pierced through without any blood water coming out, the meat is considered as done. Timing is for reference and will depend on the thickness of your pork chop. Set aside.
- In the event that your pork chop is too oily due to frying problems, transfer the oily pork chops to an oven tray lined with kitchen towel, bake in the oven at 100 degree Celsius for about 10 minutes. In this process, excess oil will be excreted and absorbed by the kitchen towel.
- Leave 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok, sauté the onion until soft and aromatic. Add the green peas and the tomatoes wedges. Quick stir fry for 1 minute and add the sauce ingredients. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Off the heat .
- Cut some pork chop and place on top of a plate of hot rice. Drizzle the gravy on top of the pork chops and the pork chop is best eaten while hot to enjoy the crispiness.
This is not a difficult recipe and to me, this one pot dish is rather fast and easy. What you need is just some time for marinating. Why not give it a try and let me know if it suits your taste buds.
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