My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch!

Bento Recipe: My Mom's Pork Chops


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Mom's home cookingEvery so often my mother and I go visit my sister and her family. And not infrequently my sister and I gang up on Mom and get her  to make something we remember from our childhoods. Most recently we requested pork chops, and I "helped out" in the kitchen, meaning I watched so I could learn how to cook them myself. (I can't just ask Mom for recipes because she doesn't use the things. She never bothers with timers and measuring cups and the like because she knows what she's doing.)

What you need:

    pork chops, 6 to 10
    a can of mushrooms
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small bits
    1/2 a bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
    garlic powder (or garlic salt)

Warm up the broiler. While that's starting up spread the chops out on a pan so they're very close but not overlapping, kind of like a supercontinent that's just starting to break up. (If that means nothing to you, don't worry about it.) Scatter the mushrooms over them, then pour the juice over all that. If you have some button mushrooms, you can cut them up and put them in too - this is a good way to use up no-longer-beautiful mushrooms. Then scatter the minced garlic over that, do the same with the peppers, and finally shake a decent amount of garlic powder over it all. Bung it in the broiler and start up the rice. (I use Uncle Ben's for this, but for bento purposes I hereby declare it acceptable to substitute sticky rice.)

Every, oh, seven minutes or so, turn the chops. You want them to cook evenly, and you don't want them to dry out, so turning them to keep them coated with mushroom juice will do that, plus it'll help the flavor from the garlic and pepper to mix in. Watch for the beginning of browning on the chops. When that appears, they're done! Take them out and serve over the rice.

(Technically speaking, these should be served with broccoli and My Mom's Hollandaise Sauce, which is the best hollandaise sauce in the world, but I haven't gotten the hang of making that yet. Another recipe for another time.)

Variations: Broiled steak! Take some beef and do just the same thing to it! It'll take less time to cook, of course, especially if you like your meat rare. I cooked mine without the bell peppers.