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.
More Pork Recipes
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
How to Make It
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.
The marinating pork chops and Thai green-chile sauce can be refrigerated overnight.
Sticky rice is often sold as sweet rice or Thai sticky rice.
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.)
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