Barbecued meat is one of those flavors of summer, and while it’s great grilled just as is, a little or a lot of spice makes it even better. Here’s a simple but spicy pork dish you can cook either out- or indoors (because you never know when it might rain — we don’t anyway).
This is very loosely based on the recipe I use when I make pulled pork, and a simpler one I sometimes use in baking pork chops. They both start with equal amounts of brown sugar and paprika plus a touch of chili — after that, the more and stronger spices you can throw in, the better. They’re also both dry rubs, fine for the oven, especially after they’ve had a chance to soak into the meat. For flame grilling, maybe not so much. The challenge was to get the same flavors into liquid form for a marinade.
Fortunately, brown sugar melts very readily into any other ingredient that’s even a little moist. Also fortunately, chili oil is a thing. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s just what it sounds like, vegetable oil infused with chili peppers. It’s used as an ingredient and also a condiment in Asian cooking. If you can’t find it in stores near you, you can make it at home simply by cooking crushed red pepper flakes slowly in your oil for about half an hour — there are plenty of more precise recipes out there online. But if your local stores carry a good selection of Asian ingredients, look there first.
I marinated this batch for two to three hours, which gave it a spicy outer layer. If you want the taste to soak into the meat more, marinate it longer, up to overnight. Just keep it in the fridge till you’re ready to cook.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how to get green onion tops to curl up at the ends like the ones in the photo, it’s really easy: just cut the ends into three or four strips each and put them in cold water for a few minutes.
- 1 pound boneless pork loin
- 1 Tb. paprika
- 1 Tb. brown sugar
- 1 Tb. chili oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Cut the pork into four equal sized pieces.
- Mix the other ingredients thoroughly and brush onto the pork.
- Refrigerate in a non-metal bowl for at least three hours.
- Cook for half an hour or until center of meat pieces reach an internal temperature of 145℉ — either by barbecuing, broiling, or combined roasting and broiling.