Back when Mike and I were just starting to date and get to know each other, one of our first dates was at a Japanese BBQ place. You know the type, round grills in the center of each table and copious amounts of meat. It was love at first bite.
Since then, I like to recreate that type of flavor at home. This has manifested into Ponzu Pork Chops. We typically look for nice thick chops at the store, you won’t find those wimpy thin sliced chops in my fridge. And then I cover them in a combo of garlic, ponzu sauce and chili powder. Oh man. Good stuff.
If any of you out there are wondering what the heck ponzu is, well here you go. Ponzu is a citrus based sauce made with mirin, rice vinegar, kombu (dried seaweed) and dried tuna flakes. Don’t get grossed out at the tuna. This is a cornerstone of Asian cuisine and is delicious. Have you ever wondered where that unmistakable umami, savory flavor comes from in your tempura sauce? I’ll bet you moola it’s from a dried fish that has been fermented. Oh, and then some citrus juice is added to the mix. It’s really fantastic.
Ponzu Pork Chops
2 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick pork chops
1/2 cup ponzu sauce
1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
1 pinch of chili powder or red pepper flakes
Combine the ponzu, garlic and pepper in a shallow container big enough to hold both pork chops laying flat. Add the chops and cover. Let them marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, turning once halfway through the process.
Preheat your grill, or in my case grill pan, and then place the pork chops on the grate. Turn the chops a 1/4 turn after a minute or so to get pretty grill marks. After another minute or so, flip the chops and repeat the process. Cook until you have reached an internal temp of 145 degrees. Be careful with these, overcooked pork chops are more suited for use as hockey pucks than to be consumed. Friends don’t let friends eat hockey pucks!!