Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Imperial Pork Chops

After many attempts to make Imperial Pork ("Pai Gu Wang"), I finally came close to getting the sauce right. Over the weekend, we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant where we ordered Peking-style pork chops, and I loved the sweet sour taste of it that seemed to be a combination of black vinegar and plum sauce. So I decided to try replicating the dish for tonight's dinner, and I'm not sure whether Peking pork chops are synonymous with "Pai Gu Wang", but after having a taste of the dish I cooked, it reminded me instantly of the latter. Even G was impressed that it indeed tasted like the real thing (or almost).

Before I forget the recipe, here it is:

Imperial Pork


3 pork chops (approx 600g), flattened and tenderised with a meat mallet
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, mixed with 1 tbsp water

Salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp five spice powder
1 egg
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp plain flour

5 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp plum sauce
1 tbsp Chinkiang black vinegar (or to taste)
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Lingham's chilli sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
Tiny pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water


  1. Cut the pork chops into 1-inch wide strips, and flatten them out with the mallet. Combine with the bicarbonate of soda solution, leave for 20 minutes and discard excess liquid. Combine pork with the marinade ingredients and leave for 4 hours.
  2. Deep fry the pork until golden brown and cooked, then drain on absorbent paper and put aside.
  3. Heat up 1/2 tbsp peanut oil in the wok, then add sauce ingredients, bring to a boil before adding the cornflour mixture. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  4. Once sauce is slightly thickened, add the pork chops and toss them in the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a dish and serve with steamed jasmine rice.


CanadianDad said...

Really great recipe. My wife is Chinese and doesn't like Western food. It's great to find good and authentic Asian recipes in English!

I made a couple modifications, using pork ribs rather than chops and baking the ribs rather than frying them. Very tasty.

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Fantastic! I'm so thrilled to hear that you tried my recipe and liked it :)
I like your shortcut method of baking the pork ribs instead - definitely healthier! I might try that too next time. Thanks for your feedback. Appreciate it :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, can you please tell me which brand of plum sauce you use? Thanks lochy

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

I use Ayam brand.

Lynds said...

Can you please tell me what is black vinegar and where in Sydney can you buy it? Can you substitute brown vinegar? Lynds

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Hi Lynds. You can get black vinegar at Asian supermarkets where all the bottled sauces are. I use chinkiang vinegar which is the kind served as dipping sauce for dumplings.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for something and by chance I visited your foodblog. So glad that you have quite a lot of interesting asian dishes. Recipes looked good and nice pictures. One of the best that I have viewed so far.


Anonymous said...

If you can make this dish more mouthwatering with a dash of toasted sesame seeds. I like this recipe.