Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction

Kramer and I went to the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden this past weekend for a friend’s birthday. It was our first time there, and I really have to say how much I enjoyed it! We had been wanting to go up there for a while, but it’s a bit of a trip to get up to Astoria from where we lived, so we never got the chance to go. It was an unusually warm September day for New York, so it was a great day to go. The beer was reasonably priced, which isn’t normally the case for beer gardens in the city, and I loved the large, outdoor space that they had. I really hope that we get to go back again soon! It’s just nice to go outside for a beer to enjoy the weather before it’s too cold. Where are your favorite outdoor spots where you live?

I saw some beautiful plums while at the Union Square Greenmarket a week or two ago, so I picked some up and decided to do something a little different with them. I was originally thinking to bake with them, but then thought that they would do very well in a dish with pork. Pork is naturally sweet, so it pairs wonderfully with all types of fruit, such plums, or even peaches, apples, figs, and so on. I wanted to keep it simple, because I had never paired the two together before. I think that Chinese five spice has a nice bite to it, lending itself well to sweeter dishes, as it usually incorporates flavors such as fennel seed, cinnamon, and star anise. I rubbed the pork chops with that, along with salt and pepper, seared them in some butter, then topped that with a sauce made from white wine, orange juice, and plums. I loved the combination of all of these ingredients. It really tasted like fall to me, with the sweet and savory notes, and I loved the slightly tart plums with the sweet orange juice and the pork, all in one bite. The Chinese five spice is not overwhelming, but instead, quite delicate, yet it added a real depth of flavor and tied all of the separate ingredients together. It might sound like a bit of a strange combination, but try it and see for yourself how delicious it really is!

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Your ingredients (minus the orange; I decided it needed some acidity last minute).

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Squeeze your orange juice. I squeeze a bit extra to drink while I cooked, of course.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Cube your plums and set aside.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Rub your chops with Chinese five spice, salt, and pepper. Place in a pan over high heat with the melted butter.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Cook the chops for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and nicely browned.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Remove the pork chops to a separate place or surface, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up any browned bits with a spatula or wooden spoon. After that, add in the orange juice.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Add the plums and cook until softened and the sauce has reduced a bit.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
When the plums have softened, add the chops back to the pan to warm up a bit, making sure to coat well with the sauce.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Serve with plenty of sauce and plums and dig in!

Pan Seared Pork Chops with a Sweet Plum Reduction
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 pork chops, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 plums, cubed (go ahead and leave the skins on, as I did)
  • Chinese Five Spice
  • juice of ½ an orange
  1. Rub the pork chops with Chinese five spice, salt, and pepper. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the pork chops, turn the heat to high, and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove to a separate plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Turn the heat back down to medium. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any browned bits with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add in the orange juice, then add in the plums. Cook over medium heat until the plums have softened, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add the pork chops back to the pan to warm up and coat with the sauce in the pan. Serve topped with plenty of plums and sauce and enjoy! Serves 2.


23 Responses

  1. Tina from PA says:

    You are sooo creative , I would love this ! My husband will not eat cooked fruit , maybe I could make him some seafood( I’m not crazy about it) and I could have these beautiful Pork chops! My favorite outdoor place is my own back yard ,we have a huge covered deck and every fall we have one last dinner on our deck in honor of Octoberfest ! I make all kinds of German food, we grill german sasuages, the works!It’s so fun!

    • Sydney says:

      Tina: I’m jealous of your backyard! I miss having that; it’s rare to have outdoor space in the city, but some of our friends have nice balconies or roof space that we can enjoy every once in a while (we have a roof, but it’s ugly). Your Octoberfest party sounds fantastic!

  2. I posted a link to this at

  3. Jen T. says:

    I’ve actually never cooked with Chinese five-spice, but this may get me to try it. I think my boyfriend would love this, pork chops are always his request for dinner but sometimes I get sick of grilled pork chops with Lawry’s on them (sometimes…). Plus he’d get a kick out of the plums.

    I’m glad you’re still able to update at all with your new job, I have a killer commute with the job I just started and can’t imagine finding the time to blog afterwards. What I’m trying to say is I’m in awe of your awesomeness!

    • Sydney says:

      Jen T.: Thank you very much! I actually just got a bit of a break on my hours, so now I work 7:30-5:15, instead of until 6, and it makes a world of difference! I am able to be home by 6:15, and when we move in February, it’ll be even earlier! I’m really excited about the new schedule, haha.

  4. Erin says:

    I never would have thought about pairing plums with pork chops, but this sounds delicious! My family & I eat a lot of pork chops & are always looking for new ways to prepare them — we’ll have to give this one a try!

    Also, kind of random, but my boyfriend works at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square. Alton Brown will be there next week, I believe [I don’t know if you’re much of a fan, but I love the guy].

    One final thing [I’m starting to feel like a creep] — have you been to The Comedy Cellar since moving to the city? It’s my favorite spot in the city & you should definitely go one night. My boyfriend may be able to get you a pass to waive the cover charge [saving you at least $10], too, so you’d only have to buy 2 food or drink items per person. The place has a great atmosphere & some of the best comedic talent in the city [at least in my opinion].
    I’ve been following your blog for a couple years & it’s full of wonderful recipes, so I guess I feel like this is my attempt to thank you for being awesome!

    • Sydney says:

      Erin: The first time I came to New York when I was 17, I went to the Comedy Cellar. I think it might have been my first comedy show. I don’t go there too often, mostly because I prefer improv to stand-up, but if you know of anyone interesting that’s going to be there, please let me know! I do like the restaurant above it, though, and I go there every once in a while if I’m in the neighborhood. Thank you so much for visiting my site and for commenting! I really appreciate it and I love getting to know my readers! :)

  5. Dana says:

    Five spice and plums would be so good together! I’ve never even thought about it before, but it would be so good. What a great idea!

  6. Erin says:

    Well, I know it’s wayyy last minute, but I love tonight’s 11:00 line-up. Ardie, the emcee, is incredible, & some of my favorites are there [Sherrod Small, Modi, Mike Vecchione], Dave Attell is going to be there, & my absolute favorite, Jessica Kirson. The last time I saw her, I was laughing so hard that I was nearly screaming, I was in tears, smacking the table, & my body hurt afterward. Granted, everyone has different comedy tastes so others may disagree with me…but I love that woman.

    And the restaurant there is awesome! The chalkboard tabletops are fun & the food is so, so delicious.

    Man…I miss NYC, haha.

  7. Anthony says:

    I love pork; it rivals beef for my favorite meat. And you’re right about it going well with fruit. I’m not sure, but I think several German recipes combine pork with a fruit glaze.

    One question: when you use butter with a high-heat pan, doesn’t it smoke and burn?

    • Sydney says:

      Anthony: I think you’re right about the German recipes! As far as the butter is concerned, it’s not in there for long, so it doesn’t burn, but if it is burning, your stove is too hot, so turn it down a bit. My stove is pretty old, so it probably doesn’t get as hot as others.

  8. Alice says:

    Plum sauce with pork is so so so good. I am positively drooling right now.

  9. Those look amazing! I’m making pork chops tonight. I already have them thawed. I wonder if this would work with nectarines? I need to use them up. Thanks for the idea.

  10. Jake M. says:

    Agh you’ve done me in again. I loved this- never would have thought to try Chinese 5-spice. It was awesome. I actually made it to the letter the first time but the second time I was out of oranges or orange juice so in added apricot preserves and lime juice. Definitely not same but interesting if you’re in a jam (no pun intended).

    We have one of the three Hoffbrauhauses of the world in Pittsburgh. If you ever for some horrible reason find yourself stuck here you MUST go. Its a bit gimmicky, but the beer comes in liters, and is made on site for 7$. The food is pretty classic German fare; i really love it. They make this beer cheese that i would eat with a spoon.

    Anyway, i still love your site, my mom does too.c I might be in NYC very soon! So glad to hear all is well for you, it sounds like your job isneorking out and it’s a good city for you to live in . Tell Kramer I said ‘sup.

    • Sydney says:

      Jake: If you’re in NYC, you better let me know! Everything’s going great, it’s good to hear from you! I was in Philly recently, but if I’m ever in Pittsburgh, I’ll definitely check it out. One of the people we met here went to college in Pittsburgh, I think I might have seen a photo of him and his girlfriend at this Hoffbrauhause. Beer cheese sounds insane and awesome – mail me some!

  11. Allison says:

    this looks fantastic! i really need to cook with meat more often.

    i live down the street from Bohemian, and it is by far my favorite beer garden ever. I also like Radegast Hall in Williamsburg but the space is a little small, but they have a more impressive list of beers i think. Bohemian is definitely the most beautiful!

    • Sydney says:

      Allison: It’s funny that you say that you need to cook with meat more often; I’m trying to cut back a bit! Bohemian is really great, I can’t wait to go back!

  12. Sara says:

    Would Chinese 5 Spice be in the spice aisle? Or would I have to go to a specialty store? I’ve never heard of it!! But then again, I’m just starting to branch out with my cooking! :)

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