Panko Crusted Pork with Wasabi Ginger Soy Sauce

It’s been kind of a long day full of tedium.  I was in no mood to spend ages in the kitchen making dinner.  I thawed a couple of pork chops today so I knew I’d start with those.  My local farmers’ market is open on Wednesday evenings so I went by there and picked up what’s likely to be the last broccoli and brussels sprouts of the season.  It was starting to look like a stir fry night when I came across this recipe.  It’s a great alternative to stir fry and I was out of the kitchen in 20 minutes.  Success!

Panko, Japanese bread crumbs, makes a much lighter coating than regular bread crumbs.  With an egg white it was a nice light crust for the pork chops.   The key to a light, crispy crust is a little oil and a lot of heat.  Only a teaspoon of oil in the pan heated until it begins to smoke.  Having the pan that hot helps form the crust immediately.  If the pan isn’t hot enough the panko soaks up a lot of oil before the crust forms.  Just 4 minutes on each side.  One tip – turn the pork chops with tongs.  If you use a spatula you risk scraping all of the yummy coating off.

The sauce was light too.  No thickeners, just the bright flavor of the ginger with the salty soy sauce and a little heat from the wasabi. I didn’t have any green onions, which would have been really good.  Use the same pan that you used for the pork chops.  Let the sauce reduce just a little bit.  Done.  I served this with the broccoli and brussels sprouts, steamed and then sauteed in the half of the sauce that I didn’t pour over the pork chops.

Anything with a pan fried with a bread coating seems a little decadent.  This tastes a little decadent too. My only complaint is that I couldn’t really taste the wasabi. A little heat would have been nice. That’s easy enough to fix next time.  This recipe is quick, easy and versatile.  It would be just as good with chicken and maybe with tofu.  You could coat shrimp in the panko and serve the sauce on the side for appetizers.  You could do vegetables this way instead of in tempura batter.  Lots of possibilities.  Let me know what you come up with!

The good news is that there are just over 200 calories in one pork chop. Not much more in the broccoli and sprouts. You can have this for dinner and not feel the slightest bit guilty about having dessert too!

Good? Very good.
Easy? Incredibly easy.
Good for company? Sure.
Special shopping? You should be able to find wasabi paste in the Asian section of most grocery stores.

Panko Crusted Pork with Wasabi Ginger Soy Sauce

Ingredients

2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon wasabi paste

Directions

Place panko in a shallow dish. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip pork in egg white; dredge in panko.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; sprinkle with salt.

Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine broth and the next 4 ingredients (through wasabi) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Spoon sauce over pork.

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