Traditional Pork Chops with an Asian Twist

So many of us have been cooking more meals at home and are looking for new and interesting ways to jazz up our menu rotation. Adding an international flair to your typical meal can create just the buzz from your family that you are looking for. Here’s a family favorite from Sam Dahn … delicious, juicy Cambodian Pork Chops and yummy Mango Salad … presented recently as part of the Taste of Asia cooking series from the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma.

Samuel Danh is of Khmer Krom decent, born in Bac Lieu, Vietnam. In the late ‘80s he was sponsored as a refugee to immigrate to America. Learning to speak English in Arkansas and Louisiana his life has been filled with various adventures … from owning his own restaurant in Shreveport, Louisiana comically named “Someplace Else” to becoming an ordained minister for the Asian community in Tacoma. Danh also teaches Okinawa karate at The Asia Pacific Cultural Center and is a union carpenter.

Cambodian Pork Chops

4-6 large pork chops

1/4 cup hoisin sauce (can substitute soy sauce)

1/8 cup+ minced garlic

3 tablespoons crushed lemon grass

dash of garlic salt

• Buy pork with the bone in

• Wash and cool your meat prior to adding the seasonings

• For best flavor, season your pork with the ingredients and place in the fridge for 1+ hours

• Fry the pork chops in olive or coconut oil for 5-6 minutes on each side

• Watch meat as it cooks and make sure it is golden to dark brown

• Keep a lid over the meat as it cooks to retain moisture & flavor of the seasonings

• Best served with sticky rice for its texture and sweetness

Mango Salad

3 diced tomatoes

1 cup diced green beans

1 cup purple onion

2 tablespoons fish sauce diluted in 1/2 cup warm water

2 diced Thai peppers

A handful of minced cilantros

3 diced sweet mangos

1 cup romaine lettuce

1/2 cup sliced cucumbers

• Always use fresh vegetables, never frozen or canned

• If you don’t like your beans raw, then microwave them for a minute prior to cutting

• Check out the video for easy cutting of mangos that avoids peeling them

• Place romaine lettuce leaves and sliced cucumbers as your base for salad on the plate

For more tips and to watch Sam demonstrate making this meal on Facebook use this address:

For several years the Asia Pacific Cultural Center has hosted a monthly cooking event at their center on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma on the first Saturday called A Taste of Asia. Each month features a recipe from one of the various 47 countries represented by the organization. Because of recent events, APCC began presenting their monthly demonstrations virtually with Facebook Live events. The recipe and presentation featured in the link within this article is one of these virtual events.


Asia Pacific Cultural Center Serving the Community

When the Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) was formed in 1996 it was intended to fulfill a deep need as a place that brought together significant segments of minority Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. For more than two decades, the APCC has taught and celebrated the cultural history, customs, arts, crafts, people and legends from their 47 represented nations. And it has been a hub for so many people to gather and celebrate. To be entertained. To show their pride. And to help each other.

Helping each other is one of the major missions of the APCC. And, help they do. Whether it is assistance in filling out government forms to start a new business or nonprofit to guiding members in understanding complicated regulations, the APCC is there to help. The organization knows they are trusted because they look like their members and speak their language. They form a comfort zone and have the capacity and earned trust to improve their members’ lives.

Through phenomenal support from their sponsors, the APCC puts on a vast number of annual events that entertain and educate. But the APCC is also a vigorous political engine ensuring that laws and issues impacting their members are given due consideration. Seeing a need to help with youth issues, the APCC has created many wraparound youth programs in the local schools. Reducing stress for youth begins and ends with reducing stress on their parents. This is accomplished by the APCC through housing and food assistance, two of the biggest stressful issues for any family.

As the APCC approaches its 25th Anniversary, it continues to expand its role in the community and, of course, add more entertainment opportunities including a new Thailand Day in June.