I'm trying to get back into the swing of things at home, one or both of us have been traveling nearly every week since August. Whenever this happens, the supply of perishables thins out from the refrigerator. If I'm flying solo,  I opt to eat out, or worse yet, eat out of a bag. Shhh! Don't tell anybody! The blogger who extols the virtues of eating fresh, also eats out of a bag!

Since I was out of ideas, and quite frankly didn't have the energy to think about what to put on the table, I left it up to arbitrary inspiration.  That's when I found the posting by A Good Appetite on chai tea brined pork chops, and thought to myself why not?  I have pork chops in the freezer and chai tea bags in the pantry, and was familiar with the combination of sweet spiced flavors with pork.

This is a recipe that should be prepared at least 8-10 hours ahead of cooking,  so that the sweet and spicy flavors can be imparted onto the pork chops, and the meat can fully benefit from the juiciness gained from brining. I tweaked the recipe to create enough brining liquid to allow cover the meat in a large bowl versus plastic bag as stated in the original recipe. I also dissolved the tea, salt and honey in hot liquids before cooling it down with cold water and ice cubes before adding the pork.

Thanks for sharing Kathy!

(adapted from A Good Appetite)

  • 1 bag chai spice black tea
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup ice/cold water
  • 2 pork chops (roughly 3/4 pound each)
  1. In a tall bowl, cut open the tea bag, and combine honey, sea salt and hot water. Stir to dissolve the ingredients. Allow the flavors to develop over a minute or two before stirring in cold water to the liquid. Allow the brining mixture to cool down in the refrigerator or with ice cubes.
  2. Once the brining liquid is cold, as cold as the temperature in the refrigerator, add the pork chops. Brine for at least 8 hours and up to overnight. 
  3. When you are ready to cook, remove the pork chops from the liquid, rinse and pat dry to allow the meat to brown properly. Grill or pan-grill the pork chop until done.
Serves 2


lululu said...

i've been looking forward to your cooking! and this one is a very interesting and fantastic idea to us tea with meat!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow what a fab recipe great pic

KennyT said...

Using tea to brine the pork chops sounds special to me.

Simply Life said...

Wow, I would never think of that but it sounds wonderful!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

So interesting recipe never heard to use tea to brine pork chops, very creative!



Nina's Recipes said...

thank you for all your visits and lovely comments.
I do love your recipes and photos! XO

Velva said...

I learned something today reading your blog post. I would never have thought to use a chai tea (or any tea for that matter) as a foundation for a brine. This is a great idea!
Traveling throughout the week can be very tiring and you just crave to cook your own food and sleep in your own bed. I can see why this dish looks so healthy.

Nice blog post!

NMOS said...

Chai tea is one of my two favorite teas (the other is green tea). I'm sure it tastes delicious with pork.

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...


This sounds delightful ~ thank you for sharing the recipe.

I would love to try this soon!

HoustonWok said...

Did I ever tell you that I love pork chops? Well yes I do and these look great. Hey you are from New York right? For a city that is always on the go, it's only natural to eat out of a bag. It gets even better when you are literally eating while walking and trying to send an email on your blackberry in the other hand. I feel you!

and this blog said...

that looks delish... if I"m ever home for dinner, I would have to try this

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

This is so unique! I imagine that spiciness must be just delicious with the pork and I bet the tea made them tender too. It's such a great idea.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Thanks everybody!
HoustonWok, I rarely eat out of a bag, and have only cans of diced tomatoes in house. So when I do for days, it's like a huge event, kind of like being on vacation, and returning home, like you loved the event, but you need to some time to recuperate from traveling. I love junk food, but it doesn't love me!

eclecticbowl said...

Thanks for the comment-love. =) It looks like there are some pretty yummy goings-on at Fresh Local and Best, as well! I can't get enough of chai - especially this time of year. I wonder how this would work with tofu... Can't wait to try it out!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Eclectic bowl, that is an interesting thought. I do like that tofu takes on different flavors well.

Lo said...

What a great flavor combo -- I would never have thought to put chai with pork, but I'll bet that's amazing. Loving your blog -- so glad I popped on over!

Anonymous said...

Chai-brined pork chops is a really cool idea. I have a carton of Oregon Chai concentrate in my fridge - I'm trying this recipe tonight! I think they would be great with creamed sweet potatoes (a little butter, evaporated milk to cut down on fat, pineapple bits, brown sugar, and orange zest.) Yummers.

Ravenous Couple said...

what a great idea! we brined our pork chop for com tam (broken rice) and it does make for a juicer chop...using chai tea seems like it'll be wonderful.

Rhandi said...

What a wonderful combination of flavors. Thanks for the idea! Great blog!

Belinda @zomppa said...

This is brilliant! I LOVE it and love that it came out so well. I want to eat it. Now.

Happy New Year!!