Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NEW RECIPE: Mongolian Pork Chops with Sweet Chili Persimmon Chutney

Copyright 2015, Constantine William Spyrou. All rights reserved.

I go to a small church in West Sacramento that is vibrant, fun, and amazing. One of the coolest things about the church is the amazing garden our priest has constructed over the years. A wide variety of fruits, from grapes to figs to persimmons, grow throughout the year. 

Persimmons have been in season for the past couple of months, and my priest actually gave me a persimmon to take home, for which I was really grateful! They are great to eat on their own, but since I've never actually cooked a persimmon before, I was eager to give it a shot.

Persimmons are naturally pretty sweet, so I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate them into something sweet and spicy, like a sweet chili sauce. Although it ended up being more chunky like a chutney, this sauce - completed with shishito peppers - plays more on the sweet then spicy side and makes a perfect complement to the hotter Mongolian marinade used on the pork chops. Served with fragrant Jasmine rice, this dish is perfect for the late autumn season! 

Recipe serves 2 people.

For the Sweet Chili Chutney:

4 Shishito peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
1 Fuyu persimmon, diced into 1/4" cubes
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

For the Pork Chops:

1 lb pork chops, fat layer/rind trimmed off
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp chili bean paste with oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 cups Jasmine rice to serve with


1) Combine all of the pork chops and ingredients for the marinade in a container, bowl, or plastic bag until well mixed. Leave to marinate for as little as 20 minutes and as long as overnight (the longer, the more flavor).

2) Add your sugar and water into a small saucepan on high heat. When the mixture begins to boil, add in the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and shishito chili peppers.

3) Stir quickly, then bring up to a boil before reducing down to a low simmer. Add in the chopped persimmons and Chinese five spice, combine well, and bring back to a simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool.

4) Allow the pork chops to come up to room temperature before cooking. Add them to a frying pan on medium high heat with some oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

5) When serving, cover the pork chops with the persimmon chutney to get the perfect balance of sweet and spice!

This dish really brings together a wide variety of textures and flavors, from the chunkiness of the persimmon and the sweet heat the chili sauce provides to the bolder flavors of the pork chop that balance out its denseness as well as the sweet of the chutney perfectly. Overall, this is an amazing dish that uses persimmons from the priest's garden. Thanks Fr. Paul! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

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