Make pantry staples work magic. These soy honey ginger garlic pork chops were cooked with only seven ingredients in under 30 minutes. So tasty!
A dish born in the aftermath of a typhoon. Although we knew that our area was not going to be directly hit by Typhoon Mankhut (local name: Ompong) — that Category #5 monster that lashed through northern Philippines — we prepared as best as we could. We had to. Mankhut had a diameter of 900 km when it entered the country and we knew that we would still feel its wrath.
Two days before Mankhut made landfall, we started emptying the meat in the freezer as fast as we could. We’ve learned our lesson. We know full well, through long experience, that power blackouts often accompanies storms and typhoons in this country, and blackouts could last long after the rains have stopped and the floods have receded.
We’ve lived through long blackouts. The most disastrous was nine years ago but that doesn’t seem so long ago that we have forgotten the fear and frustration. No power, everything in the freezer spoiled, very little food in the house, very little cash, banks closed, ATM machines down, credit card services down and people hoarding everything they could get their hands on in the few supermarkets that were open. So, no more storing plenty of meat in the freezer when there’s a typhoon in the horizon.
As Typhoon Mankhut made its way through the country, the wind whipped against the windows forcing the rain to seep through the frames. The branches of the trees swayed and made swooshing sounds that were barely audible amid the howling of the wind. We stayed indoors and hoped that Mankhut would weaken and move away before it could do more damage.
When the winds stopped howling, we replenished supplies — canned goods and such but very few that required refrigeration. Just in case we were still facing blackouts. Then, Speedy went to the grocery daily to buy just enough meat and vegetables for a day. That was how it has been days before and after Mankhut, actually. With the price of food rising (and they will soar after Typhoon Mankhut destroyed crops), no one wants to weep over spoilt food.
A few days ago, Speedy bought three pork chops for the non-vegetarians in the family and I cooked them with ingredients that I already had in the pantry. Staples, really.
The butterflied pork chops were first seared in a little cooking oil.
While the meat was browning, the sauce was mixed.
By the time the chops were reasonably browned, the sauce was poured over them, the heat was lowered, the pan was covered and the pork chops braised in the sauce for about 25 minutes.
Yes, it was a delicious dish. A good meal always helps especially when you still have to deal with the aftermath of a typhoon. The house will require minor repairs, the garden is a mess, the small trees that Alex had been growing since the summer are now leaning sideways… It still rains intermittently so it’s hard to make a full inspection of the garden. And typhoon season is not even over yet. Another two months.
Meanwhile, I think it’s safe to say that we can start storing meat in the freezer again.
- 3 boneless butterflied pork chops
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
For the sauce
- Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels.
- Brush the oil on the entire bottom of a frying pan and turn the heat to high.
- Lay the pork chops side by side on the pan and sear. Flip to brown the opposite side.
- While the pork chops brown, mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the meat.
- Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan tightly and braise the pork chops for 20 to 25 minutes or until done, flipping them over halfway through the cooking time.
- By the time the meat is done, there should be very little sauce that has thickened considerably.
- Brush the remaining sauce on the pork chops before serving topped with sliced scallions.
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