Old-School Hainanese Pork Chop: My own re-creation of Yet Con’s old-school juicy, tender, crispy pork chop drizzled in piping hot savoury sauce, as fondly remembered from my childhood days. You can also serve it with sweet and sour sauce for some variety!
When I was young, my parents used to bring us to Yet Con Chicken Rice Stall (family owned), at Purvis Street for a meal. It was one of the best chicken rice stalls in Singapore then (there were not many chicken rice stalls in those days).
Some of the ‘lao zhao pai’ like Nam Kee at Thomson Road and the original Swee Kee at Seah Street are still around. Their specialty is the Hainanese Pork Chop topped with a savoury sauce with sliced potatoes, peas, onions and carrots. They also served roast pork with preserved mustard green that goes very well with this dish. For many years, I have not been there, so I am not able to comment on whether they still maintain the same standard level.
But the memory of sinking my teeth into that juicy, tender and crispy pork chop drizzled in piping hot savoury sauce remains etched in my brain even until today. Whenever I cook this dish, I always try to recreate the dish based on my memory of that exact same nostalgic taste from those years ago.
For Hainanese Pork Chop, the tricky thing is how to get the batter to adhere well to the pork. The coating procedure is very important. You must first coat with cornflour, then egg and lastly biscuit crumbs (with some rice flour for extra crispy-ness).
Why? Because the corn flour will adhere well to the meat, and the corn flour will also bind well with the egg. If you try to coat the meat with the egg first, the biscuit crumb layer is likely to becoming detached from the meat after frying, because the egg cooks easily and will not adhere to the meat.
When coating the pork with the biscuit crumbs, it is important to gently press the meat down and ensuring it is well coated on both sides, so that the crumbs will adhere well to the pork chop. You should be able to pick up the coated pork chop like this, without the crumbs falling off!
Old-School Hainanese Pork Chops ready to be served!
The sauce for Hainanese Pork Chop is savoury and delicious, but if your family prefers a sweet sauce, you can also use sweet and sour sauce (see my recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork – Gu Lou Yuk). It also goes really well with the crispy pork chop, and its a nice variation on the dish that kids will love.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and please leave me a comment below if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for me!
My own re-creation of Yet Con's old-school juicy, tender, crispy pork chop drizzled in piping hot savoury sauce, as fondly remembered from my childhood days.
- 400 gram Boneless Pork Loin
- 1 Egg
- 10 pieces Cream Crackers
- 1 tbsp Rice Flour
- 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 5-6 tbsp Cornflour
- 2-3 tbsp Light Soya Sauce
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Chinese Wine (Shao Xing Jiu / Hua Tiao Chiew)
- 1 bowl Oil
- 2 Potatoes Small
- 1/2 White Onion
- 3 tbsp Green Peas
- 3 tbsp Carrots
- 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp Cornflour solution , 1 1/2 Tbsp Cornflour + 1 Tbsp Water
- 1 tbsp Water
- 200 ml Water
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1-2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce Optional
- 1-2 tsp Light Soya Sauce
Cut the pork loin into 4 pieces about 1" thick. Butterfly each piece of pork loin by slicing along the thickness of the loin, but leaving the end intact to make a butterfly shape.
Open up the pork chop in a butterfly shape and place on the chopping board. Tenderise both sides of the meat using a meat tenderiser, then set aside.
Add the oyster sauce, light soya sauce, salt and Chinese wine in a shallow plate and mix well. Put the meat in the marinade ensuring every piece is well coated. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours ideally.
- Meanwhile, peel and wash the carrots, onion and potatoes. Then dice the onion and carrots, and slice the potatoes thinly.
- Put the cream crackers in a double layer plastic bag and crush finely with a pestle.
Add the rice flour to the cream cracker and mix well, then pour out the cream cracker mixture on a plate
- Put a beaten egg into bowl and put the cornflour on a large plate
Coat the meat with cornflour on both sides and shake off the excess flour.
Dip the meat into the egg.
Place the meat on the cream cracker and gently press the meat down ensuring it is well coated on both sides and set aside.
Glaze the pan with oil and pan fry the potato slices until it's slightly browned and cooked. Set aside.
- Heat up the wok with a bowl of oil over medium heat.
Once the oil is heated, put a piece of meat in to fry until golden brown on both sides. You can use a long tong to flip the pork chop.
- Remove and place on the kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil.
Cut into bite size and set aside.
To prepare the sauce, heat up the wok with 1 tsp of oil and add in the carrot, peas and onion and fry for 3 mins.
Add in water and simmer for about 5 mins and add in the rest of the ingredients (oyster sauce, Worchestershire sauce, salt, light soya sauce), then thicken with the cornflour solution.
Lastly add in the potatoes.
- Dish up the sauce into a small bowl and serve together with the Hainanese pork chop. If you prefer, you can also pour the hot sauce over the pork chop and serve.
- Most people butterfly the pork loin to make the pork chops larger as the cross section area of the pork loin is quite small.
- Do not cut the meat too thinly. It will get overcooked easily and become dry and hard.
- Be careful not over-tenderise the meat otherwise it becomes too powdery.
- The coating procedure is important. Cornflour first, then egg and lastly biscuit crumbs. Reason: the cornflour will stick well with the meat and the flour will bind well with the egg. If you coat with the egg first, the biscuit crumbs will be detached from the meat after frying. The egg cooks easily and will not stick to the meat.
- Adding rice flour to the cream cracker crumbs will help to make the pork chops more crispy. But if you add too much, the batter will be too hard and dry.
- After breading the pork chop, you can save and freeze some of it another day. Just make sure you put plastic sheets between the pork chop layer before freezing so that they don't get stuck together.
- Do not add the pre-cooked potatoes into the gravy first until it is ready to serve otherwise the potatoes will soak up the sauce and become mushy. It is best to serve the pork chop and the gravy separately otherwise the pork chop will not be crispy.
- You can replace the Chinese wine with water if you prefer not to use wine in the recipe.