Disclosure: I’ve partnered with the National Pork Board to share this information with you. The graphics shared are courtesy of pork.org. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Chuleta Frita (Puerto Rican Fried Pork Chops) | All of my life, pork has been my number one love language. But there is one cut that gets way less love than it deserves, and that’s the pork chop. If you’re iffy about them, I’m here to set the record straight.
Maybe you’re picturing the overcooked hockey pucks you got in the school cafeteria. Maybe you were force-fed great-aunt Juana’s dry, flavorless cardboard cutouts. Chuleta frita is not that.
Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite easy dinner, Puerto Rican fried pork chops. Chuletas frita are tender, flavorful, and pan-fried with all of my favorite seasonings from home.
It’s also perfect to make, say, during a time when you’re sticking close to home. For one, it’s incredibly comforting yet easy to make. And the simple ingredients are ones you probably already have in your pantry and freezer.
Ingredients for Puerto Rican Pork Chops
- bone-in pork chops
- olive oil
- white vinegar
- adobo seasoning
How to make Chuleta Frita
In a small bowl, white vinegar, olive oil, adobo, crushed garlic, and oregano. Season both sides of each pork chop generously with the mixture.
Set aside on a plate covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. This will allow the chops come to room temperature and marinade.
Into a large oven safe frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat. When it’s nice and hot, add the pork chops. Fry them on both sides about two minutes or until nicely browned.
Transfer the skillet to a 350° F oven and cook for 10 minutes or until the chops reach 145 degrees. Let them rest for 3 minutes to lock in those gorgeous flavors. Then let the deliciousness ensue!
How to serve Chuleta Frita
These pork chops are a Puerto Rican cusine staple but the seasoning is so simple they go well with anything. Of course the most classic is with white rice and habichelas guisadas. But they also go well with some roasted vegetables or mac and cheese. They are perfect for a quick and satisfying dinner packed with comforting flavors.
What temperature should Pork Chops be cooked to?
The recommended cooking temperature for pork was previously 160 degrees in the middle. However, in 2011, the USDA lowered their guidelines to 145 degrees with a 3-minute rest period.
This lowered temperature, and therefore reduced cooking time, results in more tender and flavorful pork chops while still remaining safe to consume. If you want to read more about the recommended cooking time for pork, I wrote a whole post about it here.
Tips for Juicy Pork Chops
Chuleta frita are seasoned bone-in pork chops that are quickly pan-seared and finished off in the oven. Here are a few tips to ensure that your pork chops are tender and never resemble cardboard hockey pucks.
When buying, select bone-in pork chops. The bones are key to a desirable texture. When preparing, even a short marinating period can make all the difference. Also make sure the pork chops come to room temperature and pat them dry of all excess marinade before you cook them.
When cooking, pan fry them in a skillet until they’re brown and finish them in the oven until they come to temperature so they cook evenly. Add a splash of liquid to the pan like chicken broth for extra moisture and flavor. A good meat thermometer will minimize your chances of overcooking.
Finally, let them rest after cooking before cutting into them to seal in the juices.
Ideas for Leftover Pork Chops
Since the seasonings on this pork chop recipe are versatile, I like to make extra for leftovers. The leftovers can be used in a variety of ways. You can dice the meat for Chinese fried rice, mix it into pasta, or macaroni and cheese (like Barefeet in the Kitchen did).
Roll them into a tortilla with cheese to transform them into tacos or burritos. Or sprinkle over some chips to make epic nachos. Adding them to eggs will make for next-level scrambles, hashes, and omelets.
And I have one word for you: totchos. Enough said.
Can’t get enough pork?
If you’ve been around for any length of time, it’s no secret that pork is my favorite. How can you go wrong with bacon, tenderloin, and pork shoulder? The smell of roasting pork is my preferred smell to come home to.
But when I need a taste of home with a quick turnaround, there’s nothing like a warm plate of chuleta frita. Every bite is tender, saucy, and bursting with flavor. The whole family will love them–and they’re easy enough that the whole family can help make them.
Move over, weeknight chicken dinners, because Puerto Rican pork chops are here! For more pork goodness, check out my entire pork recipe collection.
- 4 porterhouse pork chops
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, white vinegar, adobo, crushed garlic, and oregano. Mix the seasonings until well combined.
- Season both sides of each pork chop generously with the mixture. Set aside on a plate covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. This will allow the chops to come to room temperature and marinade.
- Into a large oven-safe frying pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. When the oil beings to shimmer, add the pork chops. Sear them on both sides for about two minutes or until nicely browned.
- Transfer the skillet to a 350° F oven and cook for 10 minutes or until the chops reach 145 degrees. Let the pork chops rest for 3 minutes before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 29g