Five Spice Pork Chops with Grilled Apricots (or Peaches)

A Vietnamese-ish marinade, sticky charred fruit, and garlic chips for your chops

Wood Cutting board by Blackcreek Mercantile

Usually we’d say thick-cut pork chops are the way to go, but thinner cuts allow for more surface area to soak up this ridiculously good Vietnamese-inspired marinade. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure to smear on a bit of those sticky charred apricots or peaches and pick up a crunchy garlic chip with each bite. A bowl of steamed jasmine rice makes it a meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 4 ripe apricots or peaches, halved and pitted
  • Sliced jalapeños, cilantro, and mint, for serving

Directions

  1. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl and set it near the stove. Heat the oil in an 8-inch skillet or shallow saucepan set over medium-low heat. Once the oil is shimmering hot, add the garlic and separate the slices into an even layer. Cook with a gentle sizzle until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes. When they are lightly toasted and feel a bit crisp, immediately pour the contents of the pan into the sieve, catching the garlic chips in the sieve and the oil in the bowl. Set the oil aside to cool, and scatter the garlic chips in a single layer on a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve the cooled garlic chips and garlic-infused oil in separate containers.
  2. Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, five spice powder, and honey in a shallow dish that will fit the pork chops snuggly (or a zip-top plastic bag, if you prefer). Add 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and swish it around to combine. Prick the pork chops all over with the tines of a fork, and add them to the marinade, turning to coat well. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or chill up to 8 hours.
  3. Prepare a grill for medium heat direct cooking and oil the grates.
  4. Pluck the pork chops from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off, and place them on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until cooked to 135˚F in the center, which can take from 6 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Brush the cut sides of the peaches with some of the reserved garlic oil and place them on the grill, cut sides down, around the pork chops, until lightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the apricots and grill for a minute or two on the other side until lightly charred but not mushy. Collect the pork chops and apricots on a serving platter as they’re done.
  5. Serve hot, with the garlic chips, jalapeños, and herbs scattered about, and another drizzle of the garlic oil.

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