OK, so this isn’t diet food. This is a fried pork chop. And it’s just about one of the best things I’ve had in a long time.
These pork chops are dipped in a mixture of garlicky buttermilk and egg, coated in fluffy, Japanese panko breadcrumbs, then shallow-fried in a bath of pure olive oil ’til they’re golden brown and crispy.
This recipe starts with super-thin, center-cut pork chops. (Don’t try this with regular pork chops, as the crust will likely burn before the meat cooks through.) A quick, shallow fry practically guarantees they’ll stay moist and juicy.
Since they’re so thin, they cook through by the time they’ve developed a good crust. The meat is juicy and succulent, and just the tiniest bit tangy from the buttermilk.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops: A note on ingredients
Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs.
They’re made from crust-less white bread, and are larger and coarser than regular breadcrumbs.
They make a fabulous breading for fried foods, and produce a deliciously crunchy crust.
I found my panko at the grocery store in the international foods section. If you can’t find them, you can also order them online.
For the olive oil, use pure olive oil, which is better suited for frying.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops
2 lbs. center-cut, thin-cut pork chops
2 jumbo eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbls. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbls. dried parsley
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
pure olive oil
kosher salt for sprinkling
Using two gallon-sized zip-top bags makes the prep on these quick and easy. If you don’t have them, you can totally also use large, shallow bowls for the egg and panko instead.
Line a sheet pan with wax paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops: Prep your meat
Grab your pork chops.
They’re about a quarter- to a half-inch thick each. Mine had the bone in them, but you can use thin, boneless pork loin, too.
Put the pork chops in a gallon-size zip-top bag.
Set them aside while you whisk up your egg.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops: Mix up the egg
Crack your eggs in a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk them together.
Add the buttermilk to the eggs.
Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together to combine.
Add the garlic powder, kosher salt, white pepper, and parsley flakes to the egg mixture.
Whisk together to combine.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops: Coat the chops with the egg mixture
Pour the egg mixture into the bag and over your pork chops.
Seal the bag tightly. Smoosh it around with your hands to coat the pork chops with egg.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops: Bread the chops
Next, measure out your panko.
Put the panko in another gallon-size zip-top bag.
Take one pork chop out of the bag with the egg and drop it into the bag with the panko.
Seal the bag and shake it up until the pork chop is well coated with breadcrumbs.
Put the pork chop on your lined sheet pan.
Repeat the breading process with the rest of the chops. I like to do them individually to ensure each gets coated in crumbs really well.
Panko-Crusted Thin-Cut Pork Chops: Shallow fry the pork chops
Set a large frying pan on the stove. I use a double-burner non-stick pan for maximum frying real estate.
Fill it with about a quarter-of-an-inch of olive oil. Set the heat to high. Wait a minute or two for the oil to heat up.
After a minute or two, check the oil to see if it’s hot enough. Dip one end of a pork chop into the oil. If bubbles immediately start to form around it, the oil is hot enough.
If you don’t see any bubbles, wait another minute, then test the oil again.
When the oil is hot enough, carefully place all your pork chops in the pan.
The oil should immediately begin to bubble up around them.
Fry them for 2-3 minutes on this side.
While they’re frying, toss the wax paper or aluminum foil that was on your sheet pan. Line it with fresh paper or foil, so you have somewhere to put your pork chops when they come out of the hot oil.
After 2-3 minutes, grab a pair of tongs. Lift up one side of a pork chop and peek underneath it. When it’s golden brown and crusty, flip all your chops over.
Be careful when you flip them, as they might splatter a little bit when the moisture from the top of the chops hits the hot oil.
Once you’ve flipped your chops over, you might need to turn the heat down a smidge, if they look like they’re frying too quickly.
Sprinkle the tops with kosher salt now if you like.
Fry them for 2-3 minutes on this side, until the bottoms are equally browned and crispy. (Peek underneath again to check.)
When the bottoms of the pork chops are brown and crusty like the tops, transfer them to your sheet pan. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt now if you like.