Grilled Miso Pork with Pistachio Crust

The combination of miso and pistachio nuts goes very well together. Who knew? I had some left-over finely chopped pistachios from something else I made, some white miso paste in the fridge, and a couple of  honking, bone-in shoulder cut pork chops so thought I’d try to put it all together.

First, a tip I learned from my friend Joyce Prim (I think she saw this on Facebook) is to coat the meat you are about to cook with a dusting of baking soda. Sounds weird, but I’ve tried this on pork and beef, large cuts and small and it really does seem to keep the meat incredibly tender and juicy. Just sprinkle a light coating of baking soda on each side. Rub gently with your fingers. Let sit 15-20 minutes. Rinse well and dry.

The science behind it: Baking soda raises the pH on the surface of the meat. The process is known as velveting. The proteins have a harder time bonding or seizing up, which makes the meat more juicy and tender. It really does work. Thanks, Joyce!

These pork chops were huge so made more than one meal for my husband and me, but I love leftovers! After the baking soda bath, start by lightly salting both sides of the pork. Add generous amount of soy sauce and flip so each side benefits. I like to use Tamari. Although similar in color and flavor to other soy sauce brands, there are some differences. They are both bi-products of fermented soybeans, but the main difference is the presence of wheat.

Tamari has little or no wheat so if you’re avoiding gluten, Tamari is a good choice, and I really like the flavor.

Sprinkle both sides with garlic granules and onion powder. Put a heaping tablespoon of white miso paste onto each chop and spread to coat evenly.

Add the chopped pistachios to one side of the pork chop and using your fingers gently press the chopped nuts into the pork. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8.

Bring to room temperature before grilling. Heat grill to high heat and grill nut side up turning at a diagonal so you get some good grill marks.

Nut side up.

 

 

Carefully flip onto foil so nut side is down, otherwise you will lose your nuts and that would not be good.

Turn the heat down and place a piece of oiled foil on your grill. Carefully lift the chops from the grill to the foil, pistachio nut side down on the foil.

Cook until internal temp reaches 140 degrees. USDA recommends 145, but pork dries out very quickly and even with all this beautiful marinade and miso on the bone-in chop, the pork keeps cooking after you take it out so don’t go over 140 degrees or you will have dried pork.

I served our pork with steamed pea pods and cauliflower roasted with parmesan cheese–Cauli Frico! Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Grilled Miso Pork Chop with Pistachio Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 large Bone-in pork chops I used shoulder chops, but any good thick cut would work well.
  • 2 Tbsp. White miso paste Be generous and the amount of miso will depend on the size of your chop.
  • 1 tsp. Salt, to coat both chops, both sides
  • 1 tsp. Garlic granules to coat both chops, both sides
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder to coat both chops, both sides
  • 4 Tbsp. Tamari or other soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. Pistachio nuts, chopped

Instructions

  • If you choose to try the baking soda bath, see instructions above.
  • Salt both sides of pork chop gently with salt. Both the miso and the tamari are salty so err on the side of moderate, but meat needs a lot of salt to get the full extent of flavor. The biggest mistake home-chefs (like me!) make is not using enough salt.
  • Cover each chop with a generous amount of soy sauce. Flip them back and forth so salt and soy blend.
  • Add onion powder and garlic granules and do the same.
  • Drop the miso on top of each chop and spread evenly.
  • Add the pistachios to one side of the chop and press gently so they adhere into the chop.
  • Cover and let the chops marinate for 2 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Bring to room temperature before cooking.
  • Spray grill with cooking oil. Heat grill to high and cook chops for 6 minutes on un-nutted side, turning to get cross-hatch pattern. So, 3 minutes--turn--and 3 minutes turn again t get that cross hatch pattern
  • Flip the chops onto a sheet of oiled foil and cook another 8-10 minutes or until chops register 140 degrees on a food thermometer. The cook-time depends greatly on the size and thickness of your chop. That is why I like the food thermometer.

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