Make this Easy Instant Pot Pork Chops in HK Tomato Sauce Recipe. Tender & moist pork chops, soaked in delicious umami-packed tomato sauce. Super comfort food that both adults and kids are going to love! 😀
This Hong Kong Style Tomato Sauce has to be one of my favorite comfort sauces from my hometown. It’s well-balanced with depths of sweet, savory, and sour flavors, bursting with umami deliciousness. You’re going to love it! 😀
We’ve developed this sauce based on the ones you’ll find from Cha Chaan Teng 港式茶餐廳 (Hong Kong style cafes), hence the name “HK Tomato Sauce“.
So, what are Cha Chaan Tengs? If you get a chance to visit Hong Kong, it’s a foodie heaven and you’ll see Cha Chaan Tengs everywhere! These restaurants serve local Hong Kong style comfort food at cheap prices with super fast service (you usually get your food within 5 minutes!!) Just don’t expect top notch customer service. 😉 They are perfect for Hong Kong’s hectic city lifestyle.
Rice plates are very popular amongst the huge variety of items they serve. They come in big portion, cheap, filling, fast, and comforting to eat. And this Pork Chops with Tomato Sauce Rice dish 港式茄汁豬扒 we’re making today is a classic favorite at Cha Chaan Tengs.
Our version of Hong Kong style Tomato Sauce is very similar to the tomato sauce you get from Cha Chaan Tengs. We kicked it up a notch by adding extra ingredients that complement well with the original sauce. These extra ingredients will help intensify the umami flavorings. This tomato sauce works wonder with pork chops!!
Tips for Instant Pot Pork Chops with HK Tomato Sauce
1. Best Instant Pot Pork Chops Cooking Time & Method: You wouldn’t want to overcook pork chops as they’ll become tough and dry. Since pork chops cook in a flash in the pressure cooker, we did a Pressure Cooker Pork Chops Experiment to find the best cooking time to make perfect instant pot pork chops!
After testing with 5 batches of Instant Pot pork chops (Yes! I was starting to dream about pork chops in my sleep, testing the recipe!!), we found cooking at High Pressure for 1 minute, then Natural Release creates a delicious and perfectly cooked pork chops. So this is the cooking time we’ve used to develop this recipe.
2. Purchasing Pork Chops: Try to choose pork chops with some marbling of fat. The pork chops we used were roughly 1.25 inches thick.
3. Tenderize the Pork Chops: Make sure to tenderize the pork loin chops before marinating them. This is an important step!!
4. Mixing in the Tomato Paste: Mixing in 50 ml tomato paste to 250 ml of water should not cause scorching. If you are unsure, just let the tomato paste sit on top of all the other ingredients unmixed. Avoid mixing in the tomato paste if you exceed the 1 cup of tomato paste to 5 cups of water ratio.
5. Water vs. Chicken Stock: We used water instead of our homemade unsalted chicken stock in this recipe as most Cha Chaan Teng use water (way cheaper) to make this tomato sauce.
Watch: How To Make This Instant Pot Pork Chops with HK Tomato Sauce
Can’t see the cooking video? Watch it here.
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Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals, Sauce, Easy
Cuisine: Hong Kong
Serving: 2 - 4
- 4 boneless pork loin chops (1.25 inches thick)
- ½ teaspoon (2.3 g) white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) dark soy sauce
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 8 mushrooms, sliced
- 50 ml tomato paste (roughly ⅕ cup)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) ketchup
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) white sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup (250 ml) of water
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoon (12 g) cornstarch mixed with 2 (30 ml) tablespoons water
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- Tenderize the Pork Chops: Use the backend of a heavy knife, pound both sides of the pork chops to tenderize the meat.
- Marinate the Pork Chops: Marinate the tenderized pork chops for 20 minutes with ½ teaspoon (2.3 g) of sugar, ¼ teaspoon (1.5 g) of salt, ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of light soy sauce, and ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) of dark soy sauce.
- Prepare the Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté). Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be when you place the pork chops into the pot (Instant Pot: wait until the indicator says HOT). This will prevent the pork chops from sticking to the pot.
- Prepare the Other Ingredients: Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and prepare the rest of the ingredients as listed.
- Sauté the Pork Chops: Add peanut oil into the pot. Ensure to coat the oil over the whole bottom of the pot. Add the marinated pork chops into the pot, then let it brown for roughly 1 – 1 ½ minute on each side (don’t need to keep flipping). Do not let it burn. Remove and set aside.
- Brown the Onion, Shallot, Garlic, and Mushrooms: Add in the sliced onions, diced shallot and stir. Add a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper to season if you like. Cook the onions and shallot for roughly 1 minute until soften. Then, add garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and cook for another minute. Taste seasoning and adjust with more kosher salt and ground black pepper if necessary.
- Deglaze: Add ¼ cup (63 ml) of water and fully deglaze the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- Create the Tomato Sauce: Add in ¾ cup (188 ml) of water, 2 tablespoon (30 ml) of ketchup, 1 tablespoon (14 g) of sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Worcestershire sauce, and 50 ml tomato paste (See Tips). Mix well.
- Pressure Cook the Pork Chops: Place the pork chops back with all the meat juice into the pot. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 1 minute (Electric and Stovetop Pressure Cookers). Turn off the heat and let it fully Natural Release (roughly 10 minutes). Open the lid carefully.
- Taste & Thicken the Tomato Sauce: Remove the pork chops and set aside. Turn heat to medium (Instant Pot: Press sauté button). Taste the seasoning one more time. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Mix the cornstarch with water and mix it into the tomato sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.
- Serve: Drizzle the tomato sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately with side dishes!
Mixing in the Tomato Paste: Mixing in 50 ml tomato paste to 250 ml of water should not cause scorching. If you are unsure, just let the tomato paste sit on top of all the other ingredients unmixed. Avoid mixing in the tomato paste if you exceed the 1 cup of tomato paste to 5 cups of water ratio.
*The Total Cooking Time does not include idle/inactive time.