Today’s dish, Bai Sach Chrouk, is nothing more than meat plus rice with sauce. However, it IS different. Let me explain.
The Marinade: I confess growing up that mom didn’t vary the spices that she put on the grill. She swears by The Cajun King, has ordered it forever and freaks out if she even comes close to running out, with good reason. It’s delicious, is not at all bland, and packs a mini-punch. Plus- so versatile- we ate it on chicken, fish, steak, pork…roasted, broiled, sautéed…it never failed.
However, this is not a commercial for The Cajun King, but a round about way for me to tell you that I am always ready to try new marinades. This is simple, but required enough “out of the box” ingredients that I needed to trek to The Spice House to get my Chinese 5-spice. Have you ever used that? No? Well, me either. Until now.
The Rice: Sticky rice (or glutinous rice), to be exact. I’ve used Sticky rice flour in a few things now, and I’m fascinated by it. Sticky rice is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia, and is sticky because…
WARNING! SCIENCE FORTHCOMING!
…it contains only trace amounts of the starch molecule amylose and is predominantly amylopectin. You see, typical grains contain two types of two starch molecules: amylose and amylopectin. Being the more water-soluble of the two starches, amylopectin — when added to hot water — begins to break apart. This breakdown is heat-dependent, so hot water is necessary. At this point, the rice starch molecules can break apart, causing the structure of the grain to become soft, mushy and sticky. Hence, sticky rice. Thank you, Food Republic, for the science lesson.
The Sauce: No marinara here. Rather, the above two components are all tied together with a red chili sauce. Yes, another one.
While it technically is still easy enough to get out to my grill, I opted to broil these chops. With the rice in the cooker, the chops in the toaster oven and the sauce on the counter, this whole shebang took about 30 minutes. Rachel Ray would be proud.
It’s also traditionally served with some broth alongside. I did not do this. I did not have any broth, and frankly didn’t think it was going to add anything to my experience. However, if you like broth, and have some, eat it alongside.
I again cite my Asian upbringing as the reason why I cannot successfully make rice without a rice cooker. If you have some FAQs for that DIY, seek direction elsewhere.
Recipe adapted from Tevy’s Kitchen
For the pork:
2 pork chops, bone in
1/3 cup coconut milk
1-3 TB fish sauce
2 TB honey
1 TB Chinese five spice seasoning
Sticky rice, to serve
Chili sauce (recipe below)
For the chili sauce
1 TB shallot, minced
2 TB fish sauce
Lime juice, to taste
1 Thai Chili, minced
1 tsp sugar, or more to taste
Green onions, sliced, for garnish
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
1. Mix and marinate the meat for a few hours or overnight.
2. Broil the chops, about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. Let stand for about 10 minutes to redistribute the juices before serving.
3. Make the chili sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Yup, that easy.
4. Serve atop the rice and drizzled with the chili sauce