Pork provides more bang for your buck than many other meats. It’s a firm favourite on the summer barbie and a top choice for warming winter winners.  

The key to producing tender, juicy pork is to avoid over-cooking. Pork schnitzels take about 1-2 minutes each side to cook depending on the thickness. Sliced in a stir-fry, schnitzels take 2-3 minutes to cook. 

And the New Zealand Pork Board has been advocating new rules for cooking chops and steaks. It’s the ‘6+2+2’ method. For chops or steaks about two centimetres thick, pan-fry in a little oil or butter for six minutes on medium heat then flip over and cook for two minutes on the other side. Remove the chops, cover and rest for two minutes before serving.

Fat-trimmed pork is 20-40 per cent leaner than it was 25 years ago. There is only five per cent fat in a leg steak. If all visible fat is removed, the fat content drops to just one per cent.  

Pork mince can be used in just about any recipe calling for beef mince. It is excellent in chillies, curries, meatballs, meatloaves and pasta dishes. Burger patties take about five minutes each side to cook. They’re delicious served in pita breads with salad, chopped raw onion and a dash of yoghurt. 


Asian flavours add pizzazz to this yummy loaf.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated root ginger
2 spring onions. finely sliced
1/4 cup each: hoisin sauce, tomato sauce, divided
1kg minced pork
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Heat the oil in a wok or non-stick frying pan on medium. Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and spring onions on medium for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Combine the hoisin and tomato sauces in a small bowl.

Combine the minced pork, breadcrumbs, egg, soy sauce and the onion mixture in a bowl. Add half the hoisin/tomato sauce mixture. Mix well. 

Pat into a 24cm by 12cm loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat.

Spread the remaining hoisin/tomato sauce mixture on top. Return to the oven and continue baking for 10 minutes. Great topped with crispy noodles. Serves 6-8.


Shaoxing cooking wine is prepared from fermented rice and available at most supermarkets and Asian food stores.

1 tablespoon each: soy sauce, Shaoxing cooking wine
1 teaspoon each: Chinese five-spice, cornflour
400g pork schnitzel
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups finely sliced spinach
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 spring onions, sliced

Combine the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, five-spice and cornflour in a shallow dish. Mix well. 

Flatten the schnitzel with a rolling pin if thick. Cut the schnitzel into 5-6cm pieces. Add to the soy mixture and marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the garlic and sizzle for a few seconds. Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry. Add to the pan in a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds, turn over and cook for another 30-60 seconds.

Add the spinach, water and brown sugar and stir-fry until wilted. Add the spring onions and serve. Serves 4.


1kg pork slices or fingers
Marinade: 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated root ginger
3 tablespoons each: soy sauce, orange juice
1 tablespoon each: cornflour, sugar, vinegar
1 teaspoon chilli paste
salt and pepper to taste

Trim the slices and cut into serving size pieces, if necessary. 

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Place the slices in a plastic bag and add the marinade. Move around to coat evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Line an oven tray with foil. Place the slices on a rack in the pan. Baste with the marinade. 

Bake for 25 minutes, turn the slices over, brush with more marinade and bake for a further 25 minutes. 

Turn on the grill. Place the slices under the grill for 5 minutes, until browned. Serves 4-6.


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