Chinese Fried Pork Chops

Satisfy your appetite and budget with these flavorful, juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside Chinese fried pork chops for dinner. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Fried pork chops on a tray

Pork is a staple in Chinese cuisine. My mom usually makes braised pork and uses pork in stir fries, but my dad makes fried pork chops for me once in a while. It’s very special for me, because my dad rarely cooks and he is really good!

These Chinese-style pork chops have the perfect texture and taste. The flavors come from an aromatic blend of ginger, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns. Tenderizing is what ensures a thin yet juicy texture that lets the marinade really seep in. You’ll marinate the pork in this savory and fragrant sauce, dust it with my special dry coating, and deep fry it. It results in an extra fluffy and crispy exterior while the inside stays tender and juicy. 

This dish is simple to prepare any night of the week with your pantry staples. 

Sliced Chinese fried pork chops

Magic 1-layer coating

Instead of making a traditional three-layer coating using egg, flour, and breadcrumbs, this recipe uses just one layer to create the perfect crispy crust. I’ll show you in the steps below how to get that crispy coating using a double-frying technique. It might sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy once you try it.  It delivers a heavenly crispiness that will last even after refrigerating and reheating.

Thick sweet potato starch

If you have access to an Asian grocery store, try to get your hands on some thick sweet potato starch (粗番薯粉). It’s a Chinese specialty that makes the best crispy coating for fried food. Different from other starches, you can see larger clusters of starch throughout the fine granules. It creates an extra crunchiness and a more textured coating.

Chinese thick potato starch

However, no worries if you cannot find this special ingredient. You can use regular starch to create a similar effect using my double frying technique.

In fact, the pork in the pictures shown in this post were made with regular potato starch. I just wanted to show you that it’s totally possible to create this dish using your pantry staples. 

Chinese fried pork chops close up

Cooking process

  1. Pound your pork chops into very thin pieces.
  2. Mariante the chops for 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Coat the pork chops with the starch of your choice.
  4. Deep fry the first time at 350°F (176°C). 
  5. Rest the chops on a rack to drain off the excess oil
  6. Fry a second time at 375°F (190°C).
  7. Rest the chops again and carve them!
How to make Chinese fried pork chops step-by-step

Satisfy your appetite and budget with these flavorful, juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside Chinese fried pork chops for dinner. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Cooking notes

Types of pork chop 

Thin boneless pork chops (1/2” / 1.2 cm thick) are the best. They’re easy to pound thin and result in a more flavorful result. If thicker pork chops are your only option, you might not be able to pound them into super thin pieces. In this case, you should marinate the pork up to 4 hours, so the marinade will penetrate the meat fully.

What type of pan to use

The best pan for deep frying is a tall pan (or a wok on a gas stove) that is small enough to fit just one piece of pounded pork chop. So you can use a minimal amount of oil.

I used my Debuyer 9” Country Chef pan, which is like a mini wok. It fits one pork chop perfectly, 

Of course, if you have a deep fryer, you’ve already got the perfect setup.

Crispy after reheating

This recipe is also perfect for cooking ahead or meal prepping. You can refrigerate or freeze the pork chops once you cook them. To reheat, place the pork chop in a 450°F (230°C) oven, or frozen chops in a 350°F (176°C) oven until heated through. You’d be surprised how the reheated chops taste are just as crispy and fresh like they’re right out of the fryer. 

Fried pork chops close up

How to serve Chinese fried pork chops

One of the best things you can pair them with is steamed white rice or and my pickled cucumber recipe, though my Chinese fried pork chops can go with just about anything you desire. If you’re on a budget, this one will fit right in while giving you that takeout-at-home experience. Top it off with chili garlic sauce or any other hot sauce you prefer, or even mayonnaise to suit your tastes. 

Another way to use these Chinese fried pork chops is in noodle soup like you see in Asian restaurants. You can use my curry noodle soup with popcorn chicken recipe and simply replace the chicken with this fried pork for a texturally blissful and utterly delicious experience. 

Since you can use them in many different ways, Chinese fried pork chops make a great meal that can easily incorporate the leftovers in other ways throughout your week. That means more deliciousness every night!

Chinese fried pork chops served with pickles

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Chinese fried pork chops

Chinese Fried Pork Chops

Satisfy your appetite and budget with these flavorful, juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside Chinese fried pork chops for dinner. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}
To make the dish gluten-free, use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine, and use tamari to replace soy sauce.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: restaurant-style
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating time:: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces (1 lb / 450 g) in total boneless thin pork chops (*Footnote 1)
  • 3/4 cup thick sweet potato starch (or potato starch, or cornstarch) (*Footnote 2)
  • 2 to 3 cups Vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Marinade (x2 if using tupperware instead of ziploc bags) (*Footnote 3)

  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 big slice ginger , smashed
  • 1 clove garlic , smashed

Serving options

  • Chili garlic sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • Mayonnaise

Instructions

Marinate

  • Using a meat tenderizer or the back of a heavy knife, beat the pork chops until they are 1/4” (1/2 cm) thick. (Optional: cut 4 or 5 slits along the edge of the pork chops. This will help prevent the pork chops from curling while cooking). Spread the pork chops into a large ziplock bag (gallon bags work the best) with as little overlapping as possible. Or you can use appropriately sized tupperware containers.
  • Mix the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. If you do not use a ziplock bag, you need to double the marinade so you have enough to cover the pork. Pour the marinade over the pork chops. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag and seal it. Massage the bag so that the marinade covers all sides. Marinate in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours. (*Footnote 4)

Deep frying

  • Add 2” (5 cm) oil into a tall pan (or a fryer) that’s just big enough to fit the pork. Heat the oil to 350°F (176°C) over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato starch onto a plate and spread it into an even layer. Prepare a rack-lined tray or a plate with a paper towel.
  • Remove the pork chops from the marinade but do not dry them off. One at a time, lay a pork chop into the starch and press down gently, then flip and press again. Scoop the starch around the edges and over any bare spots and press lightly so that the chop is fully coated. Shake off the excess starch from the pork.
  • Gently lower the pork chop into the oil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the chop is just becoming golden brown, flipping occasionally for even cooking and color. Remove the chop and lay it on the rack or towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining chops. Note, the oil temperature might drop after frying. It’s the best to measure the temperature after frying each chop and reheat the oil in between if needed, to produce a consistent result.
  • Once all the chops are cooked, bring the oil up to 375°F (190°C). Starting with the first chop that was fried, fry the chops again for 1 minute each, until they reach a deep golden brown color. Transfer the chops to the cooling rack or a fresh paper towel again.
  • Allow the refried chops to cool slightly. Then slice and serve hot as a main dish.

Store and reheat

  • To store the pork chops, let them cool completely before transferring them to a container. Store them in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat the refrigerated pork chops, place them in a 450°F (230°C) oven until heated through, 5 minutes or so. Flip once in between. Or you can reheat them in an air fryer.
  • To reheat the frozen pork chops, reheat them directly in a 350°F (176°C) oven until heated through. No thawing needed.

Notes

  1. Small pork chops that are about 1/2” (1.2 cm) thick work the best and are easier to pound thin, therefore producing a more flavorful result.
  2. Thick sweet potato starch contains larger chunks of starch mixed throughout the fine granules which lead to a more textured crunchy coating. If you can’t find it, regular potato starch or cornstarch will work as well. In order of preference, sweet potato starch is best, potato is second, and cornstarch would be third. They will all function with this recipe.
  3. Double the marinade if you need to use tupperware to marinate the pork instead of a ziploc bag.
  4. This marinade is quite potent and is designed to shorten the marinating time. Avoid overnight marinating, which might produce a result that’s too salty.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 29.9g | Fat: 17.6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 486mg | Sugar: 1.2g | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Other Chinese pork recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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5 thoughts on “Chinese Fried Pork Chops

  1. Scott

    Hey Maggie, this is a dish that I am going to give the barbecue treatment in the near future – thanks for sharing and watch this space 🙂

    Reply