Skip the bottled, shelf-stable plum sauce and make your own. Simmer fresh plums, ginger, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and honey for about 10 minutes and blend. Serve this sweet-tangy sauce with juicy pork chops that have been rubbed with aromatic five-spice powder and grilled. Add soy-sauce-basted grilled corn and steamed rice for a complete, Asian-inspired summer dinner.

Game plan: After 30 minutes, the spice-rubbed pork chops are ready to be grilled, but for more developed flavor and juicier meat, we recommend letting them sit for up to 24 hours.

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 mins, plus up to 24 hrs marinating time

Ingredients (15)

For the pork chops:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the plum sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup small-dice shallot (from about 1 medium shallot)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger (from about 1 [2-inch] piece)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound plums (about 3 to 4 medium plums), pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the pork chops:

  1. Mix the salt, five-spice, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and place them on a large plate or baking sheet. Rub all over with the oil, then rub all over with the spice mixture. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, make the plum sauce.

For the plum sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the plums are completely softened and falling apart, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Remove the small cap from the lid (the pour lid) and cover the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the lid from popping off), then blend until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

For grilling the pork chops:

  1. Heat an outdoor grill to medium (about 350°F to 450°F). If the pork chops have been refrigerated, let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Place the pork chops on the grill, close it, and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 9 minutes. Flip the pork chops, close the grill, and cook until they’re browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted next to the bone in the thickest pork chop registers 145°F, about 6 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Transfer the pork chops to a clean serving platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. Serve with the plum sauce.