Thank god the fast food there were so much healthier than the usual Western ones. The mains were almost always a rice-based meal or noodles with meat. Although there are some pretty weird ones like Hot Lemon Coke. Once I plucked the courage to order it to satisfy my growing curiosity. How did they do it? They filled up a tall glass with Coke, stuck in a microwave and nuked it then, just before handing it to me, dropped a slice of lemon in it. Et voila - hot lemon coke! I was laughing pretty much of the time I walked to my table. The concoction had a strange chemical potion taste to it. Similar to a medicine you're forced to swallow when you were little except it's hot. It was okay though I'm not hurrying to order another one any time soon. LOL.
Baked Pork Chop Rice is one of my favourites among Cafe de Coral's menu. It is simply fried pork chops (marinated and floured), put on a bed of egg fried rice, topped with a tomato-based sauce and grated cheese then baked. Just remembering the smell when it comes out of the oven onto my plastic tray and the wonderful taste of the succulent chops starts me drooling.
My well-thumbed Chopsticks Recipes Introduction cookbook by Cecilia J. Au Yeung is where I got the recipe that I adapted.
Baked Pork Chop Rice
500 g pork chops or pork rib steaks or pork shoulder steaks
grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp celery salt (optional)
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 medium onion - chopped
2 medium tomatoes - chopped
1/2 cup of chopped vegetables - carrots, peas, sweetcorn, celery, etc.
1 Tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
1 cup stock
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp cornflour
3 Tbsp water
1 cooking oil
*Egg Fried Rice:
4-5 cups cooked rice (preferably chilled)
2 beaten eggs
3 Tbsp cooking oil
salt to taste
- Pound the meat with a meat mallet or the back of a cleaver knife to tenderise.
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade and mix with the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Add the oil and marinate for another 10 minutes.
- While it is marinating, make your egg fried rice. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat.
- Add the cooked rice plus salt according to taste. If you're using chilled cooked rice, crumble the rice first before adding to the wok to separate the grains.
- Stir fry for a few minutes.
- When it is almost done, push the rice to the sides of the wok and drizzle a little oil in the middle. Pour in the beaten eggs and cook in the middle for a few seconds until almost completely set. Then combine it with the rest of the rice breaking it up as you stir it in.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- For the sauce, heat the cooking oil over medium heat in a sauce pan.
- Saute the onion in medium heat until translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Mash the tomatoes with a spatula.
- Tip in the soy sauce, sugar, tomato paste, pepper, stock, and vegetables.
- Bring to boil and then simmer until the vegetables are cooked (about 5 minutes).
- Dissolve the cornflour in the water and then add to the sauce.
- Bring to boil on medium heat and stir until thickened.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Dredge the marinated pork chops in flour.
- Deep fry or pan fry until golden brown - about 3-4 minutes each side.
- Pre-heat oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/430°F.
- Divide the egg fried rice into oven-proof bowls.
- Top each one with one fried pork chop.
- Spoon sauce on top.
- Sprinkle grated cheese.
- Bake in oven for about 15 minutes.
- Serve while hot.