Salt and Pepper Pork Chops (椒盐猪排)

5 from 5 votes
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Restaurant-style salt and pepper pork chops are crispy, juicy, and delightful – ideal for many versatile meal ideas any night of the week. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Chinese salt and pepper pork chops in a bowl

There is nothing worse than a dry pork chop. If yours keep coming out that way, then you need to try my salt and pepper pork chops. You’ll master the method of creating incredibly tender and juicy pork, something you can do even after a hectic day. On the outside, the coating has a wonderful crispness to contrast with the juiciness, and all of it comes together for extraordinary flavor.

Is your pantry in need of a refresh? Salt and pepper pork chops can be made with ingredients you likely already have. They are one of my go-to recipes when I’m short on time and ingredients. And if you have company, no one will ever guess how simple they truly are. Rest assured, you can have these on your table in less than 30 minutes and the possibilities you can come up with to enjoy salt and pepper pork chops are endless.

Homemade salt and pepper pork


The key to making this recipe pop is the fried garlic and jalapeno chips that you’ll add to it. They add more flavor and spice. With my simple coating, the exterior stays nice and crispy for a long time, while inside, the pork remains succulent.

Ingredients for making salt and pepper pork chop

How to cut pork chop properly

I prefer to use thick-cut boneless chops that’re at least 1” (2.5 cm) thick. So you can cut them into good bite-size chunks that won’t dry out when fried.

To cut the pork chop, tilt your knife to cut the chop into irregular triangles or diamond shapes. The thin edges will crisp up and create a crunchy texture. Plus, the increased surface area will help the pork chop absorb more flavor.

How to cut pork chops for frying

What pan to use

I use my 9” carbon steel pan in this recipe because it allows me to use less oil to cover half of the chops, and the tall pan reduces splattering. Alternatively, you can use a medium-sized pot or even a dutch oven.

Cooking process

Cooking the pork chops is super easy.

  1. Fry the jalapeno and garlic 
  2. Scoop out the fried pepper and garlic when they turn crispy
  3. Coat the marinated pork with cornstarch
  4. Fry the pork in batches until golden brown
  5. Dry the pork chops on paper towels to get rid of the excess oil
  6. Toss them with the pepper salt and serve!
How to make salt and pepper pork step-by-step
Salt and pepper pork close-up

NOTE: It’s important to remove the fried garlic and peppers when they just turn pale golden. They will continue to cook after you fish them out, due to the hot oil on the surface. If you wait until they turn golden, they will be overcooked and taste burned later.

How to serve salt and pepper pork chops

Aside from the flavor, what I love most about salt and pepper pork chops is that you can do so many different things with them. You can serve them for an appetizer when you have a dinner party or gathering. You can make them your main dish on any night of the week…just serve them over steamed rice!

Since they stay crispy for a while, you can also use any leftover chops to top off a noodle soup. I have a great Soy Sauce Noodles recipe that is perfect for it, though you can use anything you like. Have fun with these salt and pepper pork chops and get creative with how you use them!

Salt and pepper pork chops with garlic and jalapeno

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Restaurant-style salt and pepper pork chops are crispy, juicy, and delightful - ideal for many versatile meal ideas any night of the week. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops (椒盐猪排)

5 from 5 votes
Restaurant-style salt and pepper pork chops are crispy, juicy, and delightful – ideal for many versatile meal ideas any night of the week. {Gluten-Free adaptable}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: restaurant-style
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 lb (450 g) boneless pork chops , cut into irregular 1/2” to 1” (1 to 2.5 cm) pieces (See the blog post above for how to cut the chops)


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pepper salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or enough to cover half of the pork)
  • 3 cloves garlic , sliced
  • 1 jalapeno , thinly sliced


  • Combine the cut pork with the oil, shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and salt. Mix until the pork is evenly coated. Marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Add enough oil to a medium-sized pan to cover half of the pork. Heat over medium heat until hot. Prepare a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Add the garlic and peppers to the oil and fry them until the garlic just turns pale golden and the jalapenos crisp up on the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon, draining the excess oil as you do, and place them onto the paper towel lined plate. Once the peppers and garlic have cooled, transfer them to a big bowl.
  • Add the 1/4 cup cornstarch to the marinated pork chops and toss to coat. Add the pork to the pan, a few pieces at a time, so they do not crowd the pan. Cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, until the coating is crispy and lightly browned.
  • Remove the pork from the pan, draining the excess oil as you do, and place them on the paper towel lined plate. Let rest for at least 10 to 20 seconds, so the paper soaks up some of the oil. Once you’ve cooked all the pork chops, transfer them to the bowl with the pepper and garlic.
  • Sprinkle half of the salt and pepper over everything and toss to evenly distribute. Taste the pork and sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if needed.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 295kcal, Carbohydrates: 10.3g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 14.2g, Saturated Fat: 3.4g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 389mg, Potassium: 501mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 1.1g, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

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.

More delicious pork recipes

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

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Karen W says:

    What would you use to make it gluten free? It looks delicious

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Karen, to make it gluten free you only need to replace the Shaoxing wine with dry sherry. The rest ingredients are gluten free already 🙂

  2. jijy m easow says:

    Is there another starch that can be used than corn starch, ? potato, tapioca, wheat, arrowroot?

    • Maggie says:

      Yeah you can use potato starch (I used it). Tapioca starch will work too.

  3. Juels says:

    Simple and delicious. It was served at my house with steamed veggies and rice and all plates were completely eaten.

  4. David says:

    It looks great and just the kind of thing kids would like. But have you tried this with other cuts of pork? It seems a pity to cut the bone off a chop. Would pork belly work? Maybe more fatty but it doesn’t look like the most healthy meal anyway.

    • Maggie says:

      I wouldn’t use pork belly because the fat part will become very chewy. I think pork belly is the best cut in braised dishes so the fat will melt away and become very tender. I think pork loin might work. If you don’t want to chop off the bone, you can attach the bone to a smaller piece and fry it with the rest. The piece with the bone might takes a bit longer to cook through but it should be tasty.

      • Mare says:

        Hi! Have made this with pork chops – FAB! and I think your answer for me is going to be the same as the one to David, but since i have it on hand… Pork butt will also be chewy here, too. We need a cookbook! I have made so many of your recipes: Thank you! -Mare

  5. Joanne Robertson says:

    We absolutely loved this. That white pepper gets me every time with a kick of heat, but no complaints here. Awesome recipe, and the garlic and jalapeño gives the oil a great flavor to the pork. Thank you! Posted my pic on Instagram but since I’m Private I’m not sure you’ll be able to see it.

  6. Ian Steep says:

    Hi Maggie, Thanks so much for publishing these wonderful recipes. I love Chinese food and I’m learning a lot from you. I especially love the food from Szecchuan and western China. A few years ago I spent time as a teacher of English on Chongming (Shanghai). Even there, the best food was from NW China. I often ate at a tiny restaurant where I could watch the noodles being made then, as I ate then food, the owners would come and watch me eat it. Maybe because I was the only westerner in the place which was normally frequented by students and workers. I’m pleased to see the recipe for lanzhou lamian. Now I I have to go try making it. The other favourite was Szechuan-style eggplant (I’ve found a recipe that does the trick on your website.) I also came across little cylindrical servings of a green vegetable that the Chinese were unable to identify by an English name. And calling it “qingcai” doesn’t help as I came across that term used for a different green vegetable every time I asked for greens.

  7. Robin says:

    5 stars
    Tasted great, definitely a keeper. Great instructions.

  8. Janette Blanco says:

    5 stars
    Do you think marinating the pork with sesame oil instead of vegetable oil would cause an overpowering flavor?

    • Maggie says:

      I think you can use a bit sesame oil in the marinade but probably 1 to 2 teaspoons, and use a neutral oil for the rest. Otherwise it’s gonna be very strong.

  9. Frank says:

    Ok, Maggie. I made this dish last night and was a bit disappointed. The pork ended up a bit dry and I wonder if I should have added some kind of sauce to help with this dryness. This I will do tonight with the leftovers from last night.


  10. Kathy says:

    A very easy and delicious recipe. The whole family really enjoyed it. Thanks.

  11. Cb says:

    I love the taste the idea everything but mine came out so dry? Not pretty and moist like yours?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      For a more juicy result, you do need to pick fatty pork chops. The lean type will end up a bit dry.
      The other factor is oil temperature – if the temperature is low, the surface will take time to achieve the color, and the inside might be a bit overcooked.

  12. Morgan B says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was INCREDIBLE! Only suggestion – add more garlic

  13. Samantha says:

    5 stars
    Husband and I LOVE this recipe!!!! Question: can this be made in the oven?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      I think an air fryer might work. For oven, you might need to use convection baking and turn the temperature really high, otherwise the surface won’t brown properly and the inside will overcook. Also, spray the pork with a general amount of oil before cooking helps.

      • Joy says:

        If using an air fryer, do you know what temp and how long to fry it for? Thanks!

      • Maggie Zhu says:

        I’ve never tried this one in an air fryer, but I would cook at 400 F (200 C) for 8 to 10 minutes. Check it at 8 minute mark and see if it’s cooked. Fry a bit more if needed. To crisp up better, I would further spray the battered pork chop with some more oil.

  14. Karman Foods says:

    5 stars
    This Salt and Pepper Pork Chops is so delicious! I used Kikkoman Tamari Less Sodium Soy Sauce to marinade since I dont have an available Shaoxing wine. Yummy! Best paired with Vitasoy Lychee Flavor Vita Juice Drink. The kids loved it, too!

  15. Trod says:

    Making this tonight. Would it be ok to marinate it longer, or will it be too gummy?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      It’s totally OK to marinate it longer – store the marinated pork in the fridge with cover. Happy cooking!

  16. Christy says:

    Hi what can i use instead of the Shaoxing wine or dry sherry ?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      If you have Japanese sake (rice wine) or beer, you can replace with any of those. If not, you can simply omit it. If you decide to omit the Shaoxing wine, I would add 1 teaspoon soy sauce in the marinade.

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