Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018

Pork Loin Chops with Chinese Five-Spice-and-Maple-Glaze Recipe

Pork Loin Chop recipe

Pork chops are easy to make and a great summer dish.

For this dish Chef Madison Cowan marinates lean and versatile boneless top loin pork chops (also known as “America’s Cut”) in five-spice and finish it in a tangy and smooth maple glaze. This dish pairs well with Asian Pear and Cucumber Slaw. The Asian pear, native to China, Japan and Korea, has a sweet flavor with a crisp texture, marries well with a variety of flavors and is a quick no-cook side dish option. A plastic V-slicer or mandoline will make quick work of cutting the Asian pears and cucumber into matchsticks.

  • 6 boneless top loin pork chops, 1 1/4–inch-thick (“America’s Cut”)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Asian Pear and Cucumber Slaw

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chile
  • 2 Asian pears, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced into matchsticks
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal.
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

To prepare the pork chops: Brush pork chops with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the five-spice powder evenly over pork chops.  Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before searing.

To prepare the glaze: Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add maple syrup and vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

To make the slaw: Whisk lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and chile in a medium bowl. Add Asian pears, cucumber, scallions, and cilantro, and mix well. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Add a little cooking oil to pan and heat over medium–high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, sear the pork chops until brown, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Place the pan in the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a chop reads 145 F, about 10 to 12 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, reheat the maple sauce and brush both sides of the chops until well glazed. Remove from pan from the oven and let stand for 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the slaw with peanuts and serve with a slotted spoon onto 6 dinner plates alongside each chop.

Want more? Check out Chef Madison’s recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with Chorzo, dates, and Manchego Stuffing

and Moroccan-Inspired Country-Style Rib Ragu with Couscous Cakes.

Celebrity chef, Chopped Grand Champion and Iron Chef America winner, Madison Cowan boasts stints cooking in London, Jamaica, Detroit and even for the U.S. Coast Guard. This worldly chef is known for blending diverse inspirations from around the globe – and cooking from the soul. You can read more about Chef Madison at

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Bobbie Hasselbring

RFT founder and the website’s former editor-in-chief, Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. She’s been an award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook.