Pork chops with Asian pears

    1 hour 40 min

    Try this easy dish with Oriental flavourings as an alternative to traditional roast pork with sweetened apple sauce. The carbohydrate-rich rice includes mildly sweet Asian pears. You will find Asian pears in many supermarkets as well as in Chinese food shops. They look like large apples and have a crisp texture.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 4 boneless pork loin chops, about 140 g (5 oz) each, well trimmed of fat
    • 1 Asian pear, peeled, cored and cut into rings
    • sprigs of fresh coriander to garnish
    • Marinade
    • 4 tbsp orange juice
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp bottled hoisin sauce
    • 1 tbsp ginger wine
    • Spiced rice
    • 340 g (12 oz) basmati rice
    • 2 star anise
    • 2 cloves
    • 2 thin slices fresh root ginger, peeled
    • 20 g (¾ oz) butter
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1¼ tsp salt
    • pepper
    • 2 Asian pears, about 170 g (6 oz) each, peeled, cored and chopped
    • 2–3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

    Prep:1hr20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:1hr40min 

    1. To make the marinade, mix the orange juice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and ginger wine together in a dish large enough to hold the pork chops in a single layer. Add the chops and turn to coat on both sides. Cover with cling film. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or, preferably, up to 12 hours.
    2. To prepare the rice, rinse it in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. Place in a bowl, add water to cover by 2.5 cm (1 in) and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
    3. Put the star anise, cloves and ginger in a small saucepan with 450 ml (15 fl oz) of water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
    4. Preheat the grill to high. Lightly oil the grill rack.
    5. Using a spoon, remove the spices from the water and bring the water back to the boil. Drain the rice well. Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated. Pour in the spice-infused water and add the salt and pepper to taste. When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat to low. Stir in the chopped Asian pears. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave undisturbed for about 5 minutes.
    6. While the rice is cooking, remove the pork chops from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip back into the dish. Place the chops on the grill rack and grill for 10 minutes, basting with the reserved marinade.
    7. Turn the chops over and add the Asian pear rings to the grill rack. Brush the chops and pear rings with the reserved marinade. Continue grilling and basting for a further 5–7 minutes or until the chops are cooked (the juices should run clear when a chop is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife). Turn the pear rings over half way through the cooking time.
    8. Uncover the rice and stir in the chopped coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve each chop with a large portion of the spiced rice, garnished with the grilled pear rings and sprigs of coriander.

    Some more ideas

    Replace the pork chops with 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, weighing about 140 g (5 oz) each. Marinate the chicken breasts as in the recipe, then grill for 6 minutes on each side or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with the tip of a knife. Replace the spiced water for the rice with chicken stock. * For a Mediterranean flavour, make the marinade with 120 ml (4 fl oz) dry red wine, 1 large garlic clove, crushed, 4 fresh sage leaves, torn into pieces, and 2 finely pared strips of lemon zest. For the rice, omit the spices and replace the Asian pears with 2 peeled and finely chopped peaches. Stir in chopped fresh parsley rather than coriander just before serving.

    Plus points

    Pork is a good source of protein, as well as iron and B vitamins. * Despite its rather ‘fatty’ image, these days the fat content of lean pork is around 4%, which is lower than that of beef or lamb.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, B12, niacin * B2, E, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc

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    It's not a good practice to use the raw meat marinade while basting! I would double the marinade recipe, use half for the marinade as is called for in the recipe, and save the other half for basting.  -  21 Sep 2009