Korean Style Pork Chops Recipe

Prepared Korean style pork chops on plate.

Craving something tangy, sticky, and a bit sweet? These Korean style pork chops are your answer. They’re ready in under 40 minutes, including marinating time, and they’re incredibly satisfying.

When (and why) make Korean style pork chops

This is a perfect weeknight dinner recipe, because it’s simple and full of flavor. You could also serve these pork chops to guests — they’ll be super impressed with your ability to create such an amazing entree and host a party at the same time. They don’t need to know you spent far less than an hour whipping up this delectable dish.

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You’ll enjoy this recipe if:

  • You like spice. Hot chili oil is a marinade ingredient, and you can add more if you like things fiery.
  • You like texture. There’s also honey in the marinade, which you add to the pan while you’re cooking the pork. The honey and the fat on the edges of your chops combine for a lovely, sticky, slightly crispy texture.
  • You like the classic combo of garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. And, who doesn’t?

Ingredients for Korean style pork chops

If you like to make Asian-inspired cuisine at home, you probably have most of these ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork chops, at least 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili oil
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Ingredient notes and substitutions

I make this recipe specifically with pork loin chops because they’re thick enough to remain juicy during the cooking process.

You can substitute:

  • Molasses for the honey
  • Vegetable oil for the olive oil
  • Coconut aminos or tamari for the soy sauce
  • Sriracha for hot chili oil

Technically, you could also swap in garlic powder for fresh garlic or powdered ginger for fresh ginger, but I would avoid this. You won’t get the same flavor punch from the powders. You might try making our Teriyaki pork chops instead, which have fewer ingredients and don’t require fresh ginger.

How to make Korean style pork chops

This recipe has three steps: marinate, pan fry, and bake in the oven. If you’re working with thinner pork chops, they make be done after the pan-frying step — making it only a two-step operation!

1. Marinate the pork chops

I like to mix my marinade directly in whatever dish I’m using to hold the meat while it’s soaking up the flavors. Sometimes that’s a glass baking dish or, if I’m feeling super lazy, I’ll make the marinade directly in a resealable bag. That leaves me with one fewer dish to clean.

Ingredients for Korean style pork chop on a cutting board.

In whatever container you choose, add and whisk (or shake) these ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili oil
Pork chops marinating in Korean-style sauce.

Add the pork to the dish with marinade and turn to coat.

Now’s the time to preheat the oven to 400°F or 204°C.

2. Pan fry the pork

Now, you’ll heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. Use a medium to medium-high flame. Use your judgment here. If your range cooks hot, go with a smaller flame. You don’t want to burn your olive oil or your marinade.

Korean style pork chops cooking in skillet.

Add the pork chops without the excess marinade and cook them on one side for 5 minutes. Flip, then add the marinade to the skillet. Fry for another 5 minutes, then use a thermometer to check the temperature.

Pork’s cooked temperature is 145°F or 63°C. You don’t want to push the internal temperature too much higher than that, because a pork loin chop can easily get too dry. If the pork is already at that temperature or within 2 degrees, remove the chops from the heat and let them rest. The internal temperature will continue to rise as they rest.

3. If needed, finish the chops in the oven

If the chops aren’t done yet, pop the entire skillet in the oven and let them hang out until they’re done. Let the chops rest for a few minutes, then enjoy.

Prepared Korean style pork chops on plate with Asian slaw.
Yield: 4 servings

Korean Pork Chop

Close up view of Korean pork chop on plate with Asian slaw.

This is tangy, sweet, and sticky Korean-style pork chop that's ready to enjoy in 40 minutes (including marinade time).

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops, at least 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F or 204°C.
  2. In a medium bowl or marinating dish, whisk together soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and Sriracha. Add pork chops and turn to coat. Marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops, without the marinade, and cook for about 5 minutes on one side. Flip, then pour the remaining marinade over the chops. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Check your pork's temperature. If it's 145°F or 63°C, it's done. Thin chops will definitely be done, but thicker ones may need a few extra minutes.
  5. If your chops aren't done, place the entire skillet in the oven and bake until the pork reaches the target temperature. This should be about 5 minutes, but could be longer if you're working with very thick chops.

Notes

This recipe is fantastic with pork loin chops. Serve with rice or cole slaw topped with a sesame ginger dressing.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 403Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1063mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 38g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

What to serve with Korean style pork chops

Side dishes

Here are some fun side dish ideas to try with these pork chops:

  1. Kimchi: Try traditional napa cabbage kimchi or different varieties like radish kimchi or cucumber kimchi. The spicy and tangy flavors of kimchi complement the pork chops well.
  2. Korean radish salad (Musaengchae): Try Korean Bapsang’s recipe. It’s Korean radish seasoned with fish sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Korean spinach salad (Sigeumchi Namul): Mangchi has a recipe here. It’s blanched spinach with soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil.
  4. Steamed rice: A staple in Korean cuisine, steamed rice is a must-have with any Korean meal. Its neutral flavor balances the bold flavors of the pork chops and side dishes.
  5. Pickled vegetables: Korean cuisine features various pickled vegetables known as banchan. Serve pickled cucumbers, radishes, or Korean pickled cabbage (Baechu Kimchi) as a side dish for added crunch and tang.
  6. Slaw with garlic-ginger-sesame dressing: This is my go-to, because I keep a jar of the dressing on hand in the fridge!

Drink pairings

And we can’t forget about the cold beverages:

  1. Korean rice wine (Makgeolli): Makgeolli is a traditional Korean rice wine with a slightly sweet and tangy taste.
  2. Soju: Soju is a popular Korean distilled liquor with a clean and smooth taste.
  3. Korean beer: Korean beers like Cass, Hite, or OB are light and crisp, making them a good choice for pairing with pork chops. The refreshing and slightly bitter notes of the beer can help cleanse the palate between bites.
  4. Lemonade or iced tea with lemon: The tangy and refreshing flavors of citrus-forward drinks can complement the richness of the pork chops.
  5. Green tea: Korean green tea, such as traditional loose-leaf or matcha, can provide a subtle and earthy flavor that pairs well with Korean cuisine.
  6. Korean fruit punch (Sujeonggwa): Sujeonggwa is a traditional Korean fruit punch made with cinnamon, ginger, dried persimmons, and sweetened with brown sugar. Its sweet and spiced flavors make it a delightful choice to enjoy alongside the pork chops.

More pork loin chop recipes

If you’re hooked on pork loin chops as your new favorite protein — hey, it happens! — try these recipes too:

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