Personally, I feel that one of the greatest inventions by the Singapore Hainanese chefs is Hainanese Pork Chops. From the European households whom most of the chefs worked for, they learnt how to use foreign sauces such as HP sauce, Lea & Perrins sauce, and the wonders of roux as thickener in making sauces.
While the British were used to apple sauce and mustard as accompaniments to their pork chops, the Hainanese substituted these with HP sauce and Lea & Perrins, as they agreed better with their taste buds.
Over the years, Hainanese pork chops would undergo further changes to make it even more appealing to the Chinese rather than the Caucasians. That included the use of ketchup as the key ingredient in the sauce. And bread crumbs or Jacob’s crumbs – one of the original ingredients – also disappeared from the recipe in most restaurants.
The recipe I’m trying to replicate here is much closer to the version I was brought up on in the 60s, the version that was served at most coffee houses and Hainanese restaurants.
Hainanese Pork Chops
Pork chop 6 slices, about ¾ cm thick each
Flour 2 cups
Egg 2, lightly beaten
Bread crumbs/ Jacob’s crumbs 2 cups
Oil 3 cups
Potato 2, cut into chunks
Mixed vegetables 1 cup
Oyster sauce 1 tbsp
HP sauce ½ tsp
Pepper ¼ tsp
Corn flour 1 tsp
Butter 3 tbsp
AP flour 3 tbsp
HP sauce 4 tbp
Lea & Perrins 3 tbsp
Meat stock ¼ cup
Pepper a dash
Salt ¼ tsp
Sugar 2 tbsp
1. Use a heavy mallet to break up the muscle fibers of the pork chops.
2. Rub marinade into the pork and chill for at least 30 mins.
3. Dust pork chops with flour, soak the meat thoroughly with egg mixture, dust with bread crumbs. Put it aside to rest for 5 minutes. This step will prevent excessive crumbs from falling off the meat during deep frying.
4. Deep fry pork chops until both sides turn golden brown. Drain off the oil and slice into ½ cm thick. Place it on the serving plate.
5. Boil potato until it is cooked. Drain and shake off the water completely. This step will create uneven surfaces on the potato, which will give the chips extra crisp. Deep fry the potato chips until golden brown. Drain and transfer to the serving plate.
6. Pour sauce generously over the pork chops and serve immediately.
1. Melt butter over medium heat. Saute mixed vegetables for 1 min.
2. Add flour and cook for another 1 to 2 mins to create a roux.
3. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients gradually and whisk until the sauce thickens.
4. The sauce should not be too thick. If it is too thickened, add some stock to dilute it. Adjust the taste with salt and sugar.
5. Set aside and keep warm.