The very delicious and versatile crispy lemongrass and garlic slices certainly make the pork chops special. Most people are already familiar with crispy garlic and how mild, sweet, crunchy, and delicious it is. Crispy lemongrass, on the other hand, could get some more love for its herbal fragrance that is not at all overpowering. You can make a large batch of crispy lemongrass and garlic and keep that in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later. These golden “sprinkles” add crunch and flavor to plain starchy items, such as steamed rice, boiled new potatoes, plain noodles or pasta, etc.
The pork chops are to be served with steamed jasmine rice. I also recommend coconut rice with these as it goes so well with the crispy lemongrass and garlic. Oh, and don’t forget that which makes everything better: nampla prik.
Mom’s Pork Chops with Crispy Garlic and Lemongrass
(Serves 4, or 2 very hungry people)
4 bone-in, not so lean, pork chops (no thicker than 3/4 inch)
3 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons baking soda (I’ve found that this helps tenderize the pork chops and keeps the loin parts from being dry and tough. It’s still imperative, though, that you not overcook the pork.)
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced crosswise very thinly (use only 5 inches from the base and keep the rest to infuse Tom Kha Gai or Tom Yam with)
5-6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced crosswise as thinly as you can
About 1/3 cup vegetable oil