Meaty, thick-cut pork chops. With deliciously spicy kimchi pan sauce. Simple, Korean-inspired food that tastes like a feast.
This recipe came about when my fridge was almost empty. All I had were random odds and ends: thick-cut pork chops and a jar of old kimchi in the back of the fridge.
As usual, kimchi saved the day!
Why Thick Cut Pork chops with Kimchi Pan Sauce?
If you didn’t know already, pork + kimchi are culinary BFFs. Korean cuisine is filled with this popular pairing: Bossam with Radish Oyster Kimchi. Spam Kimchi Fried Rice. Soybean Sprout Rice (Kongnamul Bap) with Kimchi + Pork.
Korean-style Pork Chops combine the best of two worlds: thick cut meaty pork chops with a killer kimchi pan sauce. A Korean-inspired meal that’s easy, fast, and so delicious!
As a bonus, the kimchi pan sauce ensures a tasty, juicy, tender pork chop. There’s nothing worse than a dry, tasteless chop! But I have to say, even if the pork chop is a tad overcooked — you won’t notice because the sauce is so delicious.
All the simplicity of a one pan, 3-ingredient, 15-minute meal. Scrape your plates clean with this simple recipe!
- Thick cut Pork Chops. Bone-in, 2-inch center-cut pork chops stay juicy and moist when cooked. Look for pork chops that are well marbled and with a layer of fat on the outside edge. You don’t have to eat the fatty edge but it helps to keep the pork chop moist while cooking.
- Kimchi. Old, well fermented, mature kimchi is preferred. It should be dark red and juicy, with a slightly “fizzy” taste. Old kimchi transforms when cooked down — mellow, deeply flavored, delicious. If your kimchi is on the fresh “new” side, you’ll need to cook for a little longer until soft.
- Mirin/Mirim. Korean or Japanese sweet cooking wine. Can be subbed with rice wine, sherry, white wine, shaoxing wine, sake, vermouth — any booze will do, actually. Essential to deglaze the pan and create a super delicious pan sauce.
- Water. To create a pan sauce that highlights all the umami flavor of kimchi. Can be subbed with chicken or vegetable stock but make sure to use unsalted, as kimchi is already very salty.
1. Salt and pepper pork chops. Brown in a cast iron pan on both sides. (It’s ok if they are not fully cooked; they will finish cooking in the pan sauce.) Remove and set aside.
2. Add Mirin to deglaze and scrape the browned bits off the pan.
3. Add kimchi and cook until soft and golden orange in color. Add water. The “sauce” should bubble and reduce until dark red and somewhat thickened.
4. Add pork chops and any residual pork juice back into the pan. Arrange kimchi to the top of the pork chops and let the pork chops finish cooking in the sauce. Be careful that it doesn’t become too dark and syrupy or evaporate completely.
5. Divide pork chops and kimchi evenly between two plates. Spoon sauce over the pork chops. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!
- Use a cast iron pan. To make browning the pork chops a breeze. Also helps to develop fond, all those browned bits on the bottom of the pan. The fond is essential for a developing a delicious, deeply flavored pan sauce.
- Deglaze pan. Another essential step to making a killer pan sauce. Adding Mirin and scraping off the browned bits develops so much flavor!
- Save pork chop juice. While making the pan sauce, set aside the pork chops on a separate plate. They will release juice. Make sure to add back to the pan sauce when finishing off the pork chops!
More easy recipes to love:
- Slow Cooker Gochujang Pork
- Tuna Kimchi Fried Rice
- Tornado Egg Omelette with Ginger Fried Rice
- Air Fryer Hong Kong French Toast
- Miso Glazed Salmon Skewers
Thick Cut Pork Chops with Kimchi Pan Sauce
- Cast Iron Pan
- 2 bone in, 2-inch pork chops
- 1 cup kimchi (preferably old and well fermented)
- 1/4 cup Mirin (Korean sweet cooking wine)
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and pepper the pork chops generously on both sides.
- Heat cast iron pan on medium high heat until smoking. Add 1 tsp neutral oil and swirl around in pan.
- When the pan is hot, add the pork chops to the pan. DO NOT DISTURB! Cook on one side until nicely browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, another 2-3 minutes. It's ok if they are not fully cooked; they will finish cooking in the pan sauce. Remove and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium. Add Mirin and scrape up bits from the pan with a spatula. Work quickly so the Mirin does not evaporate completely. This should take 30-60 seconds.
- Add kimchi and saute until soft and golden orange in color, about 5-7 minutes. Use the spatula to stir the kimchi around in the pan. When the kimchi is soft, add water. The "sauce" should bubble and reduce until dark red and somewhat thickened. There should be enough liquid to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add pork chops and any residual pork juice back into the pan. Transfer kimchi to the top of the pork chops and let the pork chops finish cooking in the sauce, another 2-3 minutes. The sauce should thicken Be careful that it doesn't become too dark and syrupy or evaporate completely.
- Divide pork chops and kimchi pan sauce evenly between two plates. Spoon remaining sauce over the pork chops. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!