My First Brine / by Megan Tomino

ohhhhh grill marks

ohhhhh grill marks

Pork chops have always been a staple at dinner when I was growing up. My parents served the pork smothered in Campbell's cream of mushroom soup gravy and onions with a heaping scoop of rice. The pork was always dry, but it was covered in gravy so who cares right? Wrong.

At a recent dinner at Top of Waikiki with the Black Seed Bagels and the CookSpace crew, Jason (aka Turkey Boy aka #turkeyBoyPhotos) the most selective eater around, ordered the kurobuta pork chop. The hefty piece of meat had a caramelized crust and must've been at least 1.5 inches thick. I wondered out loud, "how the heck did they cook a pork chop like that? It's so juuuuicy!"

Luckily, we were with the wondrous Dianna Daoheung of Black Seed Bagels who can COOK. She told me that the best way to prep a chop is to:

1. brine it.
2. let the chops come up to room temp before cooking.

Seemed easy enough. So the next time we bought pork chops I put Dianna's advice to the test.

Simple ingredients for a brine.

Simple ingredients for a brine.

Reminiscent of 9th grade biology class.

Reminiscent of 9th grade biology class.

This simple brine is just water, brown sugar, salt, and wrist...wrist...worcestershire sauce. In a large bowl or measuring cup, combine 2 3/4 cups of water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and a couple of shakes of worcestershire sauce. Add 2 cups of ice and 2 - 4 chops (as long as the meat is submerged completely), cover well and refrigerate for about 4 hours.

30 minutes before cooking, take the meat out of the fridge, pat dry and let it sit on the counter. Season with your favorite seasoning and get ready to grill!

praying they're juicy

praying they're juicy

also threw some kale on the grill because why not?

also threw some kale on the grill because why not?

The little pork chops were grilled for about 4 minutes on each side. I served it with grilled kale and sun dried tomato spaghetti. It was super moist. Thanks Dianna!

P.S. If you haven't been to Top of Waikiki lately, you should check it out. Tasty, well composed dishes that make good use of local ingredients from executive chef Lance Kosaka. My favorite is the crusted opakapaka and risotto and for dessert, the frozen hazelnut gelato pie.