Another 15-minute recipe! I think it’s fairly obvious that I’m having a pretty lazy week. It’s just too hot around here to justify spending more than fifteen minutes in the kitchen, so forgive me if just want to inhale my food, sit down, and direct the AC unit right at the couch.
Did you forgive me yet? Okay, great. On to the food.
A while back I bought a bunch of tri-color peppercorns from the bulk section on a total whim. They have been sitting in a pretty little jar on my counter for ages, entirely neglected. I finally cooked the perfect dish to justify the “work” of grinding my own peppercorns – Vietnamese Peppercorn Pork.
I don’t know why I put off grinding peppercorns for so long because it was an absolute cinch. I just toasted them for a bit in a hot pan with some lime-infused grapeseed oil (you could use any oil you like!), then abused the heck out of them in the mortar and pestle that I bought on the streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown (finally! a reason to use it!). Let’s just take a minute to talk about how surprised I was to find a Chinatown in Bangkok. I’m not sure why I never realized that cities outside of the U.S. could also have Chinatowns, but it seemed totally weird to me at the time.
Back to the pork!
I’m still trying to figure out the whole “lighting” thing, so I took these pictures outside on our back
pork porch (that was an actual typo that was just too awesome to delete). Right, so just picture this… I have this dish sitting in a silver tray that I really only use around Christmastime (another sweet gift from the MIL), which is sitting on a bar stool on our back patio. The husband is holding up a few sheets of paper towels to try to diffuse some of the direct evening sunlight, and I’m practically sitting on the hood of my car to try to take a picture. I really need about six more arms.
Now, back to the
porch pork (just kidding this time). This dish comes together in under 15 minutes! Be smart and start your rice ahead of time. I sauteed some fresh spinach in some lime oil and honey-ginger vinegar to go along with it and it was the PERFECT addition to the pork. Feel free to use up whatever leafy greens or vegetables you have taking up space in your fridge.
The pork has a wonderfully light sweetness to it, while the fish sauce makes it incredibly savory. Toasting the peppercorns in oil before grinding them mellows them out so you’re not sneezing all over the place. Give it a try!
Here’s the recipe:
Makes: 4 Servings (2 servings shown in pictures)
- 4 boneless pork chops, cut into half-inch chunks
- 6 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 4 Tbsp. water
- 4 Tbsp. white sugar
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp. oil (I used Lime-Riesling Grape seed Oil, but you could use just about anything!)
- In a medium sized heavy-bottom sauce pan, combine the pork chunks, fish sauce, water, and the white and brown sugars.
- Heat the pot over medium-high until the mixture reaches a boil.
- Reduce to a lively simmer and let cook for 7-9 minutes, or until pork is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat the 1 tsp. of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the peppercorns and sautee for 1-2 minutes until toasted. Be careful not to let them burn!
- Remove the peppercorns from the pan and grind with a mortar and pestle (or in a herb mill, or with a ziplock and a hammer, or however you prefer to let out aggression).
- Once the pork is cooked through, remove it from the pan and reserve any drippings left in the pot.
- Top the pork with the fresh ground pepper corns. Serve with rice and a leafy green. Garnish with fresh lime wedges, and use the leftover drippings as a sauce for the rice.
Nutrition (per serving):
329 calories, 7 g. fat, 43 g. protein, 20 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 8
What stray ingredients do you have around your house that you need to use up?