The kind of easy, comforting recipe we all need right now. Thick-cut pork chops. Pan sauce made from kimchi and a little booze. Survival food that tastes like a feast.
Not gonna lie, Korean Pork Chops isn’t traditional at all.
These days, I’m cooking a little differently. I’m betting you are, too. Yeah, social distancing and the COVID-19 quarantine can do that.
Home cooks everywhere are making do with what we have. Minimal ingredients. Pantry staples. Yes, we have time to make sourdough bread. But we are also looking for quick, easy meals made from basic food items.
That’s where Korean Pork Chops + Kimchi Pan Sauce comes in.
This dish came about when my family and I were at home, doing our part to flatten the curve. There were a few pork chops and not much else. Normally, my fridge would not be so bare. Normally, I’d have no problem running to the store for a quick errand. Instead, I forced myself to consider other options.
As usual, kimchi saved the day.
Did you know that kimchi is Korean survival food? Kimchi lasts forever. Kimchi is nutrient dense and a natural probiotic. Kimchi also tastes so good! And makes you look good, too. 😉
I’m betting you have a jar of kimchi in your fridge right now. Sear some chops. Take that jar of kimchi and make a quick pan sauce, scraping up the crusty bits with Mirin. Dinner is served!
All the addictive, spicy pungency of kimchi. All the simplicity of a one pan, 3-ingredient, 15-minute meal. Scrape your plates clean with this simple recipe!
How to Make Korean Pork Chops + Kimchi Pan Sauce:
Salt and pepper two pork chops. Saute in a cast iron pan until nicely browned on both sides. (It’s ok if they are not fully cooked; they will finish cooking in the pan sauce.) Remove and set aside.
Add Mirin and scrape the browned bits off the pan.
Add kimchi and cook until soft and golden orange in color. When the kimchi is fully cooked, 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. Be careful that it doesn’t become too dark and syrupy or evaporate completely.
Transfer pork chops and kimchi evenly between two plates. Spoon sauce over the pork chops. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!
Korean Pork Chops + Kimchi Pan Sauce
- Cast Iron Pan
- 2 bone in, 3/4 inch. porkchops
- 1 cup kimchi (preferably old and well fermented)
- 1/4 cup Mirin, Korean sweet cooking wine (rice wine will also work, although it won't be as sweet)
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat cast iron pan on medium high heat until smoking. Add 1 tsp neutral oil and swirl around in pan.
- Meanwhile, salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides. When the pan is hot, add the pork chops to the pan. DO NOT DISTURB! Cook on one side until nicely browned, about 3-4 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, working 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 fully cooked, 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.
- Transfer pork chops and kimchi evenly between two plates. Spoon remaining sauce over the pork chops. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!