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Pork Dishes

Pork has a sweetness to it and tender to the bite. Often considered the other white meat, it is a very versatile protein that one can use in he or her daily cooking. Different parts of the pig cook at different rates and require delicate knowledge on how to coax the essence of the meat. Many cultures embrace pork in their diets but many cultures do not, mainly driven by religious practices. Enjoy some of my easy dishes on this webpage as well as my popular pulled pork and other porky recipes:
- easy stir fried Szechuan pork
- oven fried pork chops
- baked crunchy Spam bits
- pork soup
- Cast iron baked pork chops with fresh herbs

Easy Stir Fried Szechuan Pork
I fell in love with Szechuan after trying my friend's home cooked dish in Ithaca. 

Ingredients (Yields 4 to 6 servings):
4 pork chops, 3 heaping tbs chili flakes in oil, 1 medium onion, 2 garlic cloves, 4 Serrano peppers, 2 carrots, 1 tbs Chinese cooking wine and ground pepper to taste. Sliced scallions for garnish. 
Optional corn starch slurry (1 tbs corn starch stirred in 2 tbs warm water)

Procedures:
1. Slice onion, Serrano peppers and carrots thinly. Mince garlic
2. Cut pork chop thinly 
3. In a hot wok over high heat, warm 1 tbs chili oil. Fry onion, garlic and carrots until onion slices turn translucent. Remove to a clean plate
4. Heat the rest of the chili flakes in oil in the wok. Distribute and sear pork slices for 2 minutes. Season with ground pepper. Stir occasionally to ensure pork slices cook through
5. Add the carrot mixture back into the wok. Blend in Chinese cooking wine. Cook until well incorporated and liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. If there is too much liquid, add corn starch slurry and cook until sauce thickens
6. Remove from wok. Sprinkle scallion as garnish and serve hot with rice or noodles

Tips:
You can substitute Chinese cooking wine with dry sherry, onion with scallions or shallots and Serrano peppers with dried chili peppers. Do adjust your spiciness level accordingly.

Stir fry Szechuan pork
I used this Szechuan chili flakes in oil

Baked Crunchy Spam Bits
I remembered watching my mum making crunchy spam bits for the first time. My mum would fry these cubes until they turned crunchy in the wok. For this recipe, I modified it by simply broiling them in the oven. This is the shortest ingredient list for a recipe I have to date :)

Ingredient:
1 can of Spam (preferably less sodium and fat)

Procedures:
Line a baking sheet with Al foil. Preheat oven by setting to Broil or the highest temperature setting. Cut spam to bite size cubes. Lay them on baking sheet. Pop them in the oven and let them bake in 5 minutes intervals, stirring occasionally until the bits turn brown and crisp. Remove bits onto paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Serve as snacks or a topping on stir fries.


Oven Fried Pork Chops
This is a really easy recipe for busy people who want a quick but healthy dish without sweating over a stove!

Ingredients:
3 pork chops- trimmed, 1 egg, 1 tbs milk, hot sauce, 0.75 cup bread crumbs, dried chili flakes, ground black pepper, salt, paprika, dried parsley, oregano and basil 

Procedures:
1. Grease baking pan. Preheat oven to 425 degF
2. In a bowl, break and beat egg with milk and desired dash of hot sauce
3. In a plate, mix desired amount of dried ingredients and bread crumbs
4. Coat pork chops in egg mixture
5. Dust pork chops completely in bread crumb mixture
6. Bake breaded pork chops for 10 mins. Turn pork over and cook for another 10 mins or until internal temperature of the deepest part of the pork chop is registered at 145 degF and its juice runs clear
7. Let the pork rest for 10 mins. Serve with your fav sauce and sides

Healthy oven fried pork chops

Pork Soup
I made this pork soup using the slow cooker. It is an easy recipe to beat the winter blues.

Ingredients (Yields 5 to 6 servings):
1.5 to 2 lbs pork roast, 2 medium size onion, 3 white potatoes, 5 medium carrots, 6 mushrooms, 1 tbs ground black pepper, 1 can of Italian style peeled whole tomatoes (28 oz), 4 to 5 cups of hot water, 1 dried bay leaf, 2 tsps dried parsley and salt to taste

Procedures:
1. Trim fat from pork roast and cut to bite size cubes
2. Cut onion, white potatoes, carrots and mushrooms to bite size slices
3. Crush whole tomatoes with hand. Save the juices 
4. In a large slow cooker, lay onion slices first. Add pork and the rest of the ingredients
5. Gently stir together, cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours over low heat until meat is tender
6. Skim excess fat on the surface
7. Serve hot with your fav pasta or bread

A serving of soup

Cast Iron Baked Pork Chops with Fresh Herbs
My lovely friends gave a handful of fresh herbs from their garden- fragrant rosemary, lemon thyme and oregano. With such lovely home grown herbs, I was inspired to create this recipe. It is as healthy as it can get and delicious, packed with flavors!

Ingredients:
4 pork chops, 2 stalks of rosemary, 2 stalks of lemon thyme, 2 stalks of oregano, dashes of chili powder and ground pepper

Procedures:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degF. Grease cast iron skillet with some veg oil and place it in the oven
2. Dab clean the pork chops. Trim off any excess fat
3. Pull off leaves from fresh herb stalks. Gently crush them between your fingers and sprinkle over pork chops
4. Sprinkle chili powder and ground pepper to your liking. With clean hands, rub the seasonings and herbs all over the pork chops


5. When oven is heated, take out cast iron skillet. Place pork chops on the skillet. Place skillet back in the oven
6. Bake for 30 mins. Then flip the pork chops to the other side and bake for another 15 mins
7. Remove from oven and let them sit for 5 to 10 mins. Serve with your fav sides 

Cast iron baked pork chop served with spicy cucumber kimchi and glass noodles

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