We all love juicy grilled pork chops but sometimes we get bored with the same old dry rub and bbq sauce that we always use out of habit. Change things up with these korean style spicy boneless pork chops.
These pork chops are marinated in spicy Korean chili flakes along with soy, ginger and garlic to give the pork a fantastic umami flavor. Grilling the pork chops seals in the juices and the flavors of the marinade.
Slicing Pork Loin into Boneless Pork Chops
Pork loin is an economical cut of pork that can be cooked whole as a roast or sliced into individual boneless chops. When cutting chops for grilling or pan searing be sure to cut the chops thick around 1.5-2 inches.
Thinly sliced pork loin is great for hammering out thin and making pork cutlets but that's another recipe for another day.
Thick cut pork chops are great for grilling because you can lock in the juices and allow the pork to absorb that charred grill flavor.
What's the difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
Though both cuts of pork are considered lean but the tenderloin is much smaller and contains even less fat than the pork loin.
Pork Tenderloin is the muscle that runs along the backbone and is the most tender muscle on the pig.
Pork Loin is served bone in or boneless and is attached to the rib and belly of the pig giving it more fat. Since fat is flavor the Pork loin is considered to have a lot more flavor.
You can make this recipe with pork tenderloin but we recommend marinating and cooking the tenderloin whole and slicing after it has been fully cooked.
What Temperature Should Pork Be Cooked to?
Long ago when meat preparation was questionable and food borne illness was a higher concern pork chops were recommended to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Just like poultry. This made the pork very dry and grainy. I think this is why pork chops got a bad rap over the years.
Fast forward to today with much higher quality meat and better understanding of food safety the federal guidelines in the United States have lowered the recommended internal temperature of pork to 145 degrees F. Pork chops across America rejoiced at the news that they would no longer be served over cooked and dry.
How Long Should you Marinate Pork Chops
When it comes to marinating pork you want to give it a minimum of 2-3 hours. That is the minimum amount of time it takes for the pork to absorb the flavors of the marinade. On the other side of the coin marinating overnight is going to allow the pork to absorb the marinate even more. Overnight marinating also helps tenderize the pork giving you a much more tender finished product.
You may not have all of these ingredient on hand but you can make a few simple substitutions to make this recipe with similar results and overall flavor
Pork Loin- Bone in Pork Chops or Pork Tenderloin (unsliced)
Grated Ginger- ½ tsp Ginger Powder
Minced Garlic- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
Scallions- Diced White or red onions
Five Spice- ¼ tsp Cinnamon ¼ tsp Clove ¼ tsp Allspice
Korean Chili Flakes- 1 tsp Cayenne 1 tsp Paprika
Sambal Oelek- 1 tbsp Sriracha or any hot sauce
Rice Wine Vinegar- Apple Cider or White Vinegar
Sesame Oil- 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp olive oil
Lime Juice- 1 tbsp Lime Juice Concentrate.
Brown Sugar- 2 tbsp Honey
Ketchup- 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp honey
3 lbs Pork Loin (cut into 1.5-2 inch Chops)
1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
¼ cup Korean Chili Flakes
¼ cup Scallions
½ tsp Five Spice
2 tbsp Sambal Oelek
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
¼ cup Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Lime Juice (about 1 lime)
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
⅓ cup Ketchup
Prepare the Marinade by whisking all of the ingredients together and set aside.
Slice the pork loin into 1.5-2 inch thick pork chops then submerge into korean style marinade.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.
Remove the pork chops from the marinate and shake off excess marinate. (don't throw out marinade)
Grill the pork chops over direct heat for about 5-7 minutes per side until you reach an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F. About half way through the grilling process start basting both sides of the pork chops with the marinade so that both sides have carmelized with the sauce.
Once pork is fully cooked remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.