Cambodian Coconut Marinated Pork with Rice & Pickled Vegetables (Bai Sach Chrouk)
April 6, 2018
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

In Cambodia, this classic pork dish signals breakfast time. Packed with savory flavors from the marinade and zesty kick from the pickles, this recipe will perk up your taste buds any time of day. Swapping in a lean cut of pork significantly lowers the fat in this dish, while still providing ample amounts of protein, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and potassium. This adapted recipe also calls for brown rice rather than traditional white rice, to maximize fiber and protein. You could also serve this over quinoa or another healthy grain.

Hands on Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours (includes marinating time)

Serves 4

Pickle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 small pickling cucumbers, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 small carrot, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 4 radishes, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices

Pickle Directions:

  1. In a small pot, bring the water and sugar up to a boil. Add the salt and the vinegar and stir to combine.
  2. Add the vegetables, ginger, and garlic to a large jar, and pour over the pickling liquid. Place in the fridge overnight, or up to 48 hours.

Main Dish Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup plain unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 boneless pork chops, excess fat trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Green scallions, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices, to garnish
  • 2 cups low fat & low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, warmed to serve
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, to serve
  • Chili flakes or chili sauce, if desired, to serve

Main Dish Directions:

  1. In a plastic bag, combine all ingredients through the pork chops. Mix well to coat the pork in the marinade, and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
  2. When ready to cook, heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the grill with the coconut oil.
  3. Grill the chops for 4-6 minutes per side, until cooked through with grill marks. Allow the pork to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  4. To serve, divide the rice, pork, and pickled vegetables between four plates. Garnish with the scallions and chili flakes if desired. Pour the warmed broth into four small bowls. Enjoy!

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: