Ever notice just about every bar you walk into in Hawaii has some form of pork chops on the menu?
Pork chops are king in Hawaii.
And I have no idea why.
Maybe it’s because of the almost cult success of Manago Hotel’s famous plate of pork chops — sans gravy — that has locals salivating for a succulent chop of pork prepared in any which way, from pan-fried to sautéed to plunged into a deep fryer.
Since 1992 Colin Nishida has been serving his popular pork chops at Side Street Inn on Hopaka Street near Ala Moana Center. He sells 300 to 400 pounds of pork chops a week — at a platter is $22! (See his recipe at the end of this post.)
I’m a fan of pork chops myself — but not a rabid one. And I never understood how people can lovelovelove this dish so much they actually have arguments over who’s got the best chops.
Then I ate the pork chops from Champions Sports Bar on Keeaumoku Street.
Juicy. Peppery. Just like the kind your mom would make.
They were pretty spectacular.
(The sports bar serves more than just pork chops, by the way. We loved the popular furikake chicken, ahi poke and bacon-wrapped asparagus.)
Got a favorite pork chop spot?
Side Street Pork Chops
2 T. garlic salt
2 T. pepper
1-1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. cornstarch
4 7-ounce fresh island pork chops, about 1-1/2 inches thick
1 c. cottonseed oil
Combine garlic salt, pepper, flour and cornstarch. Coat chops well in the mixture. Heat oil in a skillet. Fry chops about 10 minutes, turning frequently until browned. Cut meat from the bones and slice the chops into bite-sized pieces. Serve over shredded cabbage with ketchup on the side. Include bones for gnawing. Serves 4.