Pork Chops with Sticky Rice and Thai Green-Chile Sauce
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 15 MIN Plus Overnight marinating
- SERVINGS: 4
Pino Maffeo is always inventing new variations on classic Asian dishes. Here, in a play on Vietnamese pork chops, he marinates the meat in a Chinese-style mix of hoisin, orange juice and chiles, then serves the juicy chops with sticky rice and a side of sweet, crunchy watermelon.
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black bean sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- Eight 1/2-inch-thick, bone-in pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each)
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 10 Thai bird chiles or 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
- 2 cups white sticky rice, soaked overnight (see Note)
- Chilled watermelon slices, for serving
- In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the fish sauce with the hoisin, orange juice, ginger, honey, black bean sauce and sesame oil; transfer to a shallow baking dish. Add the chops and turn to coat, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, in a mortar, pound the garlic, chiles and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to a coarse paste; gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until pasty. Add the lime juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons of fish sauce and the water. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
- Line a bamboo steamer basket with moistened cheesecloth. Drain the soaked rice and spread it in the steamer in an even layer. Set the basket over a pot of boiling water, cover and steam the rice until tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. Cover, remove from the heat and keep warm.
- Light a grill. Remove the pork from the marinade and grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, about 6 minutes. Serve the pork with the sticky rice, green-chile sauce, watermelon slices and cilantro leaves.
Because the Thai chile sauce here is deceptively fiery, its perfect wine partner is a cool white with a hint of spice-moderating sweetness, like a German Kabinett Riesling. ("Kabinett" is a designation of how ripe the grapes were when picked.)