Fried pork chops are hugely popular in the Dominican Republic, this very simple recipe is always a favorite and requires few ingredients.
There are some complicated traditional Dominican meat dishes in our blog, and those are some of the jewels of our cuisine, but for a quick, satisfying, always-welcome meal, bring out the chuletas fritas.
Chuletas ahumadas (smoked pork chops)
Smoked pork chops can be found in any Dominican supermarket or colmado. It is a very popular meat, flavorful, and relatively inexpensive. It is also quite easy to cook, as it is already pre-cooked, and can be used to make a number of traditional dishes.
You can find it in locrio (with rice), add it to stews, and — most popularly — served fried.
The reason why it is so popular, besides the above, is because in a country with a long history of unreliable electric service, chuletas ahumadas have a long shell life for a meat product. The smoking process and a high amount of salt make it easy to maintain, even through the occasional apagón (blackout).
Fried smoked pork chop, a huge favorite with Dominicans, as it is quite easy and quick to make — you can have dinner ready in 15 minutes. I love it with tostones, Dominican sauteed onions, and avocado.
It is, however, an acquired taste. It's also hard to find outside the Dominican Republic.
Below I show you another version for people who are not fans of chuletas ahumadas, or can't find them.
If you're not a fan of the texture and saltiness of chuleta ahumada, I have you covered. I have found a way to give chuleta fresca some of the flavors of chuleta ahumada, but resulting in juicier, less salty fried chuletas.
About this recipe
Fresh chuletas are nowhere near as common in our country as the smoked ones. Smoked chuletas can be made quickly and with few ingredients. You can find the process in the recipe, as well as my favorite way to make fried fresh chuleta with a Dominican flair.
I'd love to hear which one you prefer.
[Recipe + Video] Chuletas Fritas (Dominican Fried Smoked Pork Chops)
- 4 smoked pork chops, (2 lb [0.9 kg]) or 4 fresh pork chops of ½" [1.5 cm] in thickness
If you make it from raw chuletas
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke, [Amazon affiliate link]
- 1 tablespoon freshly-cracked pepper
- 1½ cup oil for frying, [355 ml]
- Dominican sauteed red onions
- Lime wedges, (optional)
- Marinate fresh pork chops: This step is only to be followed if you are making it with fresh pork chops. If you use smoked pork chops, skip to the next step.Season the pork chops with kosher salt, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and pepper. Let it rest in the fridge covered for 4 hours.Once this time has passed, remove from the liquid, and pad with a paper towel to remove superficial water, but without pressing too much. This will prevent excess splatters when frying.
- Frying the pork chops: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (about 375 ºF [190 ºC]. Fry the pork chops until they are golden brown (4 minutes on each side for the raw ones, 2 minutes for the smoked ones) rotating to cook both sides equally. Fry one or two at a time, so they are now crowded in the skillet,While frying, keep covered with a splatter guard [Amazon affiliate link] to minimize splatters, be careful you do not burh yourself.