Put the fried rice inside a butterflied pork chop to get all the flavor of pork fried rice with more pork and no chopsticks.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Inside-Out Pork Fried Rice (prep time 30 minutes plus 1-2 hours marinating time. Serves 2)

2 center-cut boneless pork chops (about 1 pound total)

1 Tb. sesame oil (can use spicy sesame oil for more zip or substitute vegetable oil for the more expensive sesame oil.  You lose a lot of the deep flavor, though.)

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

2 Tb. soy sauce

2 Tb. honey

3 Tb ketchup

½ tsp finely chopped or grated ginger (for an extra zip, use pickled ginger that you might have left over from sushi takeout)

Whisk together all the marinate ingredients. Pour over pork chops and allow to sit, refrigerated 1-2 hours while you prepare the fried rice.

Vegetable Fried Rice Filling

2 Tb. sesame oil (If you opt for the cheaper vegetable oil and have some sesame seeds in your pantry, put a tsp. or two of seeds in the oil as it’s warming in the skillet to add flavor)

½ C diced carrot (1 carrot)

½ onion, small dice

¼ C. frozen peas

¼ tsp. grated fresh ginger or powdered ginger

2 C. cold cooked rice

2 Tb. soy sauce

2 eggs beaten

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Saute carrots and onions until they start to become tender, stir in ginger and frozen peas.  Continue stiffing the vegetables another couple minutes before adding the cooked rice.  Stir to coat everything with the oil and add the soy sauce.  Stir to coat with the sauce before pushing the rice to one side of the pan and adding the eggs. (You can add a little vegetable oil if you need to keep the eggs from sticking.  Scramble the eggs and stir into the rice.  Taste to adjust soy and ginger seasoning.  Set aside to cool.

After the chops have marinated and the rice is cooled to at least room temperature, preheat oven to 350.  Butterfly the pork chops by slicing them along the longest side being careful not to cut all the way through.  Open up the chops and press down a little.  Pepper the inside of the pork chops if you want but you don’t really need salt given the saltiness of the soy in the fried rice.  Place the pork into a shallow baking dish.  Spoon the rice into the inside of each chop and fold the other side back over.  You can secure with a toothpick if desired, but I just pushed the stuffing in as much as possible and left it as-is.  Pour the marinate over the chops and bake for about 15-20 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted just into the meat portion reads about 130-150 degrees or until the meat juices run clear when you cut part-way into the chop.  Allow the pork to rest about 5-10 minutes so the juice stays in the meat and rice. You could make a little more of the marinate while the meat is cooking if you think you will want some for dipping.

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