Recipe: Jacques Pépin's Pork Schnitzel with Crispy Rice Coating

Recipe: Jacques Pépin's Pork Schnitzel with Crispy Rice Coating

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Christine Gallary
Oct 23, 2015
(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

When I was flipping through chef Jacques Pépins's newest cookbook, Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, this recipe immediately jumped out to me. I love crispy pork schnitzel, but using rice cakes as an alternative to bread crumbs or flour for the breading? I needed to try this immediately.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Jacques says, "I make this recipe with boneless pork loin steaks or chops. I trim the exterior of any fat and sinew, then pound the meat into thin slices and bread them with a mixture of crushed rice cakes or Japanese-style panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs) before sautéing them. I serve them with a sauce made with vinegar and Bloody Mary mix."

Serve this meal with:

Tester's Notes

Although you can use panko or bread crumbs to coat the pork chops, I highly recommend the rice cakes. As they brown, they take on this light, crispy texture that is just fantastic as a coating.

While I was a bit surprised at first at the use of Bloody Mary mix in the sauce, it turned out to be an ingenious ingredient. The mix has a savory-sweet flavor and great texture that made for a beautiful sauce.

- Christine, October 2015

Pork Schnitzel with Crispy Rice Coating

Serves 4

4 boneless pork loin steaks or chops (about 6 ounces each), trimmed of all fat and sinew (about 5 ounces each trimmed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten well with a fork in a shallow bowl
3 rice cakes (about 1 ounce total), pounded or processed to a coarse powder (about 2 1/2 cups), 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs, or 1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup Bloody Mary mix

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or chives

Using a meat pounder (or the side of a hammer), pound each of the pork steaks or chops so they are about 5 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches and 3/8-inch thick. Sprinkle the pork with the salt and pepper, then dip each piece into the beaten egg and coat well with the rice cake crumbs or bread crumbs. (The meat can be prepared to this point a few hours ahead and refrigerated.)

At cooking time, heat the oil and butter in one very large or two medium skillets, preferably nonstick. Add the coated pork and sauté for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned on the outside. Transfer to a serving platter.

If using two skillets, combine the drippings in one skillet. Add the vinegar to the pan and cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chicken stock and Bloody Mary mix and cook for about 1 minute, until slightly thickened.

Pour the sauce over and around the steaks or chops and serve with the cilantro or chives sprinkled on top.

Reprinted with permission from Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

(Image credit: Tom Hopkins)

Find Jacques' Book:

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

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