Recipe: Sichuan Pepper Pork Loin with Spiced Vegetable Relish

Recipe by Matthew Basford, Canoe

Demonstrated at the Ponce City Farmers Market on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016


  • For the loin:
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 1 cup plain flour
    • 1 pound pork loin
    • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorn, dry roasted and ground
    • 2 whole eggs
    • Salt and pepper
  • For the relish:
    • Half-pint heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1 Vidalia onion, finely diced
    • 1 zucchini, medium diced
    • Quarter-cup brown sugar
    • 4 ounces smoked bacon, small dice
    • 2 heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    • 1 yellow squash, medium diced
    • 4 ounces okra (pickled or fresh-cut), sliced in rings that are half-inch thick
    • Quarter-cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons gochujang (or your favorite hot sauce)
    • Optional: chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet.
  2. Cut pork into four-ounce portions. Gently pound with a meat mallet until portions are a quarter-inch thick.
  3. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix the Sichuan pepper with panko and combine in a food processor. Put in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Beat the eggs and buttermilk until combined.
  6. Coat the pounded pork with seasoned flour, then egg wash, then panko.
  7. In a medium- to heavy-based frying pan, add enough canola oil to evenly coat the bottom. Turn the heat to high and get oil hot. Reduce heat to medium and gently place pork loin in pan.
  8. Cook each piece until panko is golden brown and then flip to cook the other side.
  9. Place in the oven for five minutes to cook through.
  10. In a large sauté pan, cook the diced squash over high heat until golden brown and set aside.
  11. In a medium saucepan, render diced bacon for about three minutes. Add diced onion and cook until translucent, then add diced heirloom tomato and cook for two minutes.
  12. Add brown sugar and cider vinegar to bacon mixture. Cook until reduced by half, then add hot sauce and stir in.
  13. Remove from heat. Add okra, squash, halved tomatoes and parsley, if desired. To serve, place the cooked pork loin on a plate and top with relish.

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