Serious Eats: Recipes
Dinner Tonight: Seared Pork Chops with Kimchi
Kimchi can do no wrong. At least that's how I'm feeling at the moment. It is perfect in traditional Korean stews, and it can even miraculously help spruce up a quesadilla. It's so wonderful it can play well with both pork belly and tofu. So I guess it shouldn't come as that big of a surprise that it pairs nicely with pork chops. Just a tablespoon of chopped kimchi marinates the chops, infusing them with plenty of spice and just a bit of vinegar tang.
I found this recipe on the New York Times website, and it's interesting how they incorporate Korean ingredients into what is essentially a very basic pan sauce. A lot of the flavor comes from the fond leftover from cooking the pork chops in a skillet. It's deglazed with vermouth and flavored with honey and kimchi. It sounds unlikely, but a pat of butter at the end helps unify everything into a tart, luscious, and slightly sweet sauce.
How you cook the actual pork chops depends on how thick they are. The original recipe calls for 1-inch thick monsters. For those, you'll need to sear them like the instructions say, and then reduce heat to medium low, cover the skillet, and cook for 7 minutes. For 1/2-inch thick ones, like the ones I used, the quick sear should cook them properly.