Spicy Pork Salad with Napa Cabbage, Lime, and Peanuts

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

Charring half the cabbage in a dry skillet lends a subtle char that contrasts nicely with the fresh crunch of the raw leaves.


  • 4 boneless pork chops, each ½ inch thick, patted dry

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 head napa cabbage (about1 ½ pounds), halved lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil

  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (⅔ cup)

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, such as nam pla

  • 1 serrano or red finger chile, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)

  • 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and chopped

  • Fresh mint leaves and chopped peanuts, for serving


  1. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over high 5 minutes. Add half of cabbage, cut-side down; cook, flipping once, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, then pork; cook, flipping once, until a thermometer inserted into thickest parts registers 140 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate; let cool slightly, then thinly slice.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together onion, lime juice, fish sauce, chile, sugar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Chop raw and charred cabbage into bite-size pieces; add to bowl along with cucumber and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates. Top with pork, mint, and peanuts; serve.

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