Pork Chops With Tamarind and Ginger
Seasoning pork chops with a paste of fresh ginger, chile, cumin and tamarind gives the brawny meat a deeply spicy, sour flavor that gets more intense the longer it marinates. Then the excess marinade is mixed into the drippings to make a heady sauce. If you can’t find tamarind concentrate (also sometimes called tamarind extract), lime juice will supply the sour notes, though without the same fruity complexity.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- 1tablespoon tamarind concentrate (or extract), or use lime juice
- 1tablespoon sambal oelek or other chile paste
- 2teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- 1 ½teaspoons ground cumin
- 1teaspoon fish sauce
- 1teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2bone-in pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick (2 pounds total)
- 2tablespoons coconut oil, grapeseed oil or safflower oil
- Scallions, thinly sliced
- Lime wedges, for serving
Step 1In a large bowl, combine garlic, tamarind, sambal oelek, ginger, salt, cumin, fish sauce and turmeric. Rub mixture evenly over pork, and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Step 2Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the marinade off the pork, reserving it (there will be a tablespoon or two), then place chops in pan and sear on one side until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to hold pork chops vertically to sear the fat on the edges, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 3Flip pork so browned side is on top and add reserved marinade to pan, stirring it into the drippings. Transfer pan to oven and cook to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for lightly pink on the inside (135 degrees). Transfer chops to a plate or cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat off the bone and serve slices coated with pan drippings, scallions and lime wedges.