Marks Daily Apple
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16 Feb

Pork Chops in Creamy Turmeric Sauce

Turmeric Pork

Pork Chops in Creamy Turmeric Sauce is a spicy (but not overly hot), sweet, tangy dish. It has complex flavor but very simple preparation. The sauce is also really versatile and likely to taste just as good over chicken, beef, or seafood. This is the type of recipe you’ll make again and again.

Turmeric lends its deep yellow color and the earthy, peppery flavor often tasted in curries. It also adds a slew of potential health benefits to your meal. Coconut milk, lime, cilantro and jalapeño are the other major flavors, coming together in a bold and plate-licking good sauce.

Pour the sauce over cauliflower rice, top it with a pork chop and then sauté or steam some veggies for a side. Dinner is served!

Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes


  • 1 can (13.5 ounce) coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (found in the Asian section of grocery stores) (15 ml)
  • 1 small jalapeno, roughly chopped (optional)
  • A handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, plus more to season pork (5 ml)
  • 4 boneless pork cutlets or thin pork cops (1/2 inch thick or less) (13 mm)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Salt, for seasoning
  • Butter, to flavor cauliflower rice


Combine the coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, jalapeno (optional),1 teaspoon turmeric, and the cilantro in a blender. Blend the mixture into a smooth sauce.

Step 1

If the pork isn’t thin enough (1/2 inch thick or less) use a meat mallet to flatten the pork. Or, slice thicker pork chops in half to turn them into two thinner chops.

Lightly season the pork with salt and turmeric.

In a wide skillet heat the coconut oil. When the oil is hot add the shallot and saute for 30 seconds. Add the pork.

Cook the pork only 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Step 2

Transfer the pork to a plate.

Add the coconut sauce to the skillet. Use a spoon to scrape up any tasty bits of meat stuck to the pan as the sauce comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

While the sauce is boiling, make the cauliflower rice. Trim and roughly chop the cauliflower.

Step 4

Process in a food processor until the cauliflower has the texture of rice (the cauliflower can also be grated by hand with a box grater).

Step 5

Cauliflower rice can be cooked in a microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until soft or sautéed in a pan with several tablespoons of oil for 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Season with salt and butter.

Add the pork and any accumulated meat juice back to the skillet with the sauce. Simmer just long enough to heat the pork back up.

Serve the sauce and pork over the cauliflower rice. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro.

Turmeric Pork

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. holy cow that looks good!

    didn’t know that you could make cauliflower look like rice.. that’s pretty amazing.

    bjjcaveman wrote on February 16th, 2013
  2. YUM! Question, though: Is there a way to get the printable recipe without all of the pictures and such? I am hitting ‘print post’ which gives me so many more pages than necessary. Thanks!

    Pam wrote on February 16th, 2013
    • cut and paste the text into a separate document?

      There’s probably an easier way, but computers are not my thing, so that’s what i tend to do.

      jade wrote on February 16th, 2013
    • Clip it in Evernote! Great recipe!

      Andy wrote on February 16th, 2013
    • Hit the little printer icon under the post, before the comments, and next to the little bubble that says how many comments there are. It will open just the recipe w/ pics in a new window to print.

      Juli wrote on February 17th, 2013
      • Doing what you suggested still prints out five sheets of paper for the recipe. It’s a bit wasteful. There should be a printable version without all the pics.

        Dano wrote on February 17th, 2013
        • just copy and paste the text into a word document, pretty easy.

          jrVegantoPrimal wrote on February 17th, 2013
  3. I will be trying this one! I did cauliflower rice a week or so ago with a chicken curry, grated it on a box grater. Hubby didn’t even know until I told him (after he had eaten it!),that it wasn’t regular rice.

    Beth wrote on February 16th, 2013
    • What is your recipe for your curry chicken?? Would you care to share?

      Juli C wrote on June 19th, 2014
  4. Cauliflower rice has become a staple for me! Whenever I make a stir-fry or curry dish, I just throw the raw cauliflower bits in and they cook to just the right texture. Yum!

    Agnes wrote on February 16th, 2013
  5. Perfect timing – I just added a package of pork chops to my monthly free range chicken order . . .

    Duncan wrote on February 16th, 2013
  6. I knew there was a reason why I bought cauliflower and pork cutlets last night! Tonight’s dinner is sorted out – thanks Mark!

    Anna wrote on February 16th, 2013
  7. You should try making cauliflower rice& choking in clarified butter. Now that is really delicious :-)

    Tim wrote on February 16th, 2013
    • I meant cooking ha ha.

      Tim wrote on February 16th, 2013
      • hahaha when I read that I was like “choking it??” Darn those auto-corrects! 😛

        Nsanechick wrote on February 18th, 2013
  8. Cauliflower, yes! Makes a great Asian-style fried rice and is terrific mashed with garlic and the fat of your choice. Also great roasted with curry or paprika or the spice mix of your choice. I used to think I hated cauliflower – then I went primal and learned how to cook it. Now it is practically my favorite food.

    Siobhan wrote on February 16th, 2013
  9. I’ll try anything when coconut is the first ingredient:-)

    Thank you for the post and great recipe ideas.

    Dr. Haley Perlus wrote on February 16th, 2013
    • Do you know where I can find the study? (Sorry that is lazy I could just search Pubmed) but if you know a quick link that’d be great :)

      Tapsticks wrote on February 18th, 2013
  10. I’m wondering if “pork cop” is a accidental-on-purpose typo :)

    Sandi Jones wrote on February 17th, 2013
  11. Wow, those look great Mark. Do you develop these yourself?

    Coach Mark wrote on February 17th, 2013
  12. I made this last night but substituted ostrich steaks for the pork chops. It was delicious! Had to cook the ostrich a little longer since they were thicker than pork chops. The sauce was fantastic. My wife went back for seconds, something she never does. No leftovers for lunch today.

    Dave wrote on February 17th, 2013
  13. I made this tonight for the wife and I. We both enjoyed it. Thought of adding some red curry paste but held off and made it according to the Marks recipe. Wife needed a break from the spice lol …..


    Jianwa wrote on February 17th, 2013
  14. Made this for dinner tonight. Simply outstanding, a go-to sauce from now on.

    Beth wrote on February 17th, 2013
  15. Terrific! Made it for dinner and me and wifey were literally licking our plates for the sauce and bits after the meal ! Great one Mark ! Any estimated calorific content ? Thanks :)

    Dominic Cheng wrote on February 18th, 2013
  16. Awesome! The flavours sound great!

    Any ideas for a substitute for the cauliflower? I’m finding a lot of Paleo recipes have cauliflower as it seems to be quite versatile but I hate the stuff so much!

    Maybe I just have to learn to love the stuff :S

    Tapsticks wrote on February 18th, 2013
    • Try romanesco; it is Roman cauliflower. Plus it looks super awesome. The color is more of a yellow/green (wild rice color?).

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on February 18th, 2013
    • Just made this tonight and it was delicious – reminded me of a thai curry recipe I used to make. It definitely needs something to mop up the sauce – try mashed carrots or broccoli.

      Grokesque wrote on February 20th, 2013
  17. I made this last night and WOW! It was FANTASTIC! It had some serious umami. I found myself holding back from licking the sauce off the plate. I think it’s the fish sauce plus the pan sautéing. Those of you who like spicy, it could definitely stand up to more jalapenos. HIGHLY recommended!

    Louise wrote on February 18th, 2013
  18. I made this for one friend Saturday night and it was such a hit…made it for another Sunday night (pre Downton Abbey finale dinner). Both times with chicken. Make sure the meat is a half inch like the recipe says… didn’t pound the chicken breasts the second night and had to cook the sauce too long and it lost some of its flavor.

    Will make this recipe over and over… love the cauliflower rice too!

    BostonLisa wrote on February 18th, 2013
  19. It was delicious!

    Rebecca wrote on February 18th, 2013
  20. I made this last night and it was really good! Even the non-primal DH liked it. I would say the cauliflower rice is mandatory since it soaks up the sauce so nicely. mmmmm Thanks for the great recipe!

    Kathryn wrote on February 19th, 2013
  21. Best recipe ever! I had to restrain myself from eating all 4 servings

    Ellen wrote on February 19th, 2013
  22. First recipe I’ve made from your site and it was fantastic! Even my super picky 6 y.o. Daughter loved it. Thanks!! Now off to search for more recipes to try

    Melissa wrote on February 19th, 2013
  23. My husband and I have been on and off paleo for a couple of years now… We feel better when we do it, but comfort food and restaurant food always get me.

    I made this tonight, but did the cauliflower as faux-mashed potatoe instead of rice, with a side of asparagus. best comfort food meal ever. My husband loves it because normally I dislike sauce and/or gravy, but this sauce is awesome.

    Thanks so much for a recipe that will come in handy when I feel like falling off the wagon.

    Sally wrote on February 19th, 2013
    • Doh. I mean potato. Pulled a Quayle.

      Sally wrote on February 19th, 2013
  24. very yummy. even my 2 year old loved it :)

    jenna weaver wrote on February 22nd, 2013
  25. This was a big hit in my household!

    Phil wrote on March 6th, 2013
  26. I made this last night an it was wonderful…porkchops stayed juicey and the color was awesome. My husband who does not eat cauliflower ate a healthy serving of “rice”. LOL

    Sandy wrote on March 13th, 2013
  27. Made this for dinner tonight – YUM, and super easy. Definitely will be making it again!

    Rebecca wrote on March 25th, 2013
  28. I made this today in my crockpot. I put all the ingredients for the pork & sauce in the crock with a sliced spring onion from this morning’s farmer’s market, then cooked it on low for 5 hours. I served mine over Brussels sprouts sautéed with onion in lard. What a wonderful meal. Thanks, Mark.

    Carrie wrote on May 11th, 2013
  29. I made this dish tonight and it turned out very tasty. I used lamb chop instead of pork and the sauce worked just fine. I also loved the cauliflower rice and we will be making that more :)
    Thanks for creating great recipes.

    Isil wrote on July 11th, 2013
  30. Anyone have anything else besides Cauliflower rice? Besides different kinds of cauliflower? It makes my stomach hurt and gassy and it’s honestly really vial and smells bad to eat. Am I just being a wimp?

    Lauren wrote on July 24th, 2013
    • I love cauliflower rice, can’t say it smells bad at all. Perhaps yours was an old one? Try making noodles out of courgettes?

      Beth wrote on July 25th, 2013
    • I absolutely love cauliflower but it does not love me back. I have the same experience Gassy, painful tummy afterwards. although I could eat plates and plates of the stuff it just doesn’t do well in my body. Any tricks for degassing it?

      Paleo Momma wrote on November 24th, 2013
    • this looks really good!

      but i also hate cauliflower (& broccoli or any plants that resembles broccoli.)

      i’ll just use potato or sweet potato or regular white rice for the extra sauce.


      pam wrote on March 24th, 2014
      • Yowza just tried this with green onion, galangal root and lemon w/zest because that is what I had on hand. Outrageously yum!!

        Paleo Momma wrote on July 22nd, 2014
  31. Just had this for dinner tonight with baked and steamed veges…. wonderful flavoured sauce !!!

    Sparrow wrote on September 22nd, 2014
  32. I tried this recipe and my husband and I did not care one bit for the the sauce or cauliflower “rice”. This recipe gets two thumbs DOWN.

    melissa wrote on October 30th, 2014

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