I love T-bone pork chops—also called bone-in center-cut chops—because you get both a little of the loin and a little of the tenderloin. Juicy and aromatic, these Asian-inspired chops go surprisingly well with applesauce. Don’t worry if your kids declare them too exotic before they try them. After just one taste, they’ll be back for more.–Maria Helm Sinskey

LC On the Side Note

We can think of quite a lot of sides that would go quite spectacularly with these subtly flavored five-spiced chops, including the obvious white rice. But really, just like Sinskey, all we crave is some made-from-scratch roasted applesauce with caramely, appley, spicy overtones. Excuse us while we go make some.

A person carrying a decorative blue and white serving platter loaded with five-spice grilled pork chops.

Five-Spice Grilled Pork Chops

5 / 2 votes
These five-spice grilled pork chops are a delightful way to upgrade your grilling game. T-bone pork chops, marinated with ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder, come off the grill infused with flavor.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories470 kcal
Prep Time1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4 to 6 pork chops, preferably T-bone, about 3/4-inch (18-mm) thick each
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil for the grill rack


  • Place the pork chops in a nonreactive dish. In a small bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic if using, five-spice powder, oil, and a few grinds of coarsely ground pepper. Rub the ginger mixture evenly over both sides of the chops, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Season the pork chops on both sides with salt. Place them on the grill rack or grill pan and cook, turning once, until blazoned with grill marks, golden on the outside, and barely pink at the center when cut into with a knife, 6 to 7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. Transfer the chops to a warmed platter and let them rest for 5 minutes, during which time they’ll continue to cook from the residual heat. Then serve.
Williams Sonoma Family Meals

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Williams-Sonoma Family Meals

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 470 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 53 gFat: 27 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 175 mgSodium: 140 mgFiber: 0.2 gSugar: 0.03 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2009 Maria Helm Sinskey. Photo © 2009 Ray Kachatorian. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Pork and five-spice are best friends forever! Everything about this recipe is skillfully restrained. The modest thickness of the chops, the singular tablespoon of olive oil, and just one little teaspoon of five-spice powder; these in their minimal amounts add up to a big payoff. This is quintessentially the perfect weeknight family dinner — marinating in the morning, plus a 12-minute grill time after work, equals kids and parents well fed. Love!

The depth of flavor in Chinese five-spice really worked well in this recipe! These pork chops turned out really, really well — but we ended up using all of the marinade on just two pork chops. I would double the marinade ingredients, because the amounts given were remarkable on just two of the chops! Truthfully, the smell of these pork chops grilling probably had all of our neighbors salivating…wonderful recipe overall. I would maybe add a sprinkling of parsley to the finished product for some color.

We loved the blend of five-spice powder, ginger, and garlic, but thought it was too subtle on the thick cuts of meat. The recipe yielded just barely enough rub for four pork chops. Double the amount of the rub and you’ll have enough for ample slathering, and some to use later. I think leftover pork chops (and the rub if you end with extra) would be good in fried rice.

These were pretty straight forward and easy to put together. The finished chops were tender, juicy and flavorful. The amount of time on the grill produced a nice chop with pretty grill marks. Each bite had the flavor of the five-spice powder with a bit of heat on the finish. I think I would use a bit more ginger when I make them again. Overall, these chops made for a nice weeknight dinner on a hot summer day.

This recipe produced a moist, wonderfully flavored pork chop. I doubled the marinade, for 11 pork chops, and was concerned there was not enough, but it did coat all the chops. I let the chops marinate for six hours before grilling as directed. The five spice seasoning was nice and subtle and went very well with the grilled pork. Served with baked sweet potatoes, and the taste of fall was in the air.

This is a very good, easy recipe. Pork chops are pretty standard fare, but the spices are just different enough here to make them seem new and different! I used boneless pork chops, as I could not find thin bone-in chops. Very good!

Simple and pretty tasty recipe. Chinese five-spice powder has a lot of flavor, so definitely stick to the one teaspoon. even though that might not seem like much for four pork chops. If you do six pork chops, you might have to add a little more of everything, considering that I did only four chops and I felt the spice mixture was just enough to cover those four. When you go to the grocery store, try to find the chops with the largest piece of tenderloin attached to it, just like you would do with a T-bone steak.

I prepared the rub mixture and prepped the chops the night before I planned on grilling them. As life would have it, things changed and it was two nights later before we grilled them. They were delicious! Extremely tender and juicy. We used a gas grill and cooked them for about five minutes per side, as we don’t like dry, over-cooked pork. Will definitely make this again for friends!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Five spice and pork chops is a no-brainer. I like to do a rub with some five spice and a little brown sugar, let them sit an hour, then pan-fry them with a pat of butter.

    1. Bulmash, do you ever brine your chops? The One does, and they not only have great flavor but are more juicy.

      1. I keep telling myself I should brine, but I never have the patience. Cooking them in a pan over medium/medium-low heat usually results in a juicy chop because you’re not wringing juice out with high heat. OTOH, you don’t get nearly as good a sear, but the cooking of the sugar in the rub helps both with color and flavor.