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One French word: croustillant, a (French) recipe: porc croustillant

croustillant, adjective (croustillant (m.), croustillante (f.), croustillants (, croustillantes ( = crispy, crunchy (pronounced krous-ti-yaan (m.sing. &, krous-ti-yaant (f.sing.,, no particular stress).

From the noun une croûte = a crust.

Une histoire croustillante = a tasty story, a bit of a naughty story

Porc croustillant served the salad way

My recipe today – porc croustillant (otherwise known as boulettes de porc which it is in fact not) – is one of my oldest recipes. I used to do it for my children often, my son loves it, I’m not sure about my daughter… It’s cheap, quick and easy. One small pork chop will do one person, a large one will do two. I use côtes de porc échine, but there seems to be no translation for this. I asked an Australian butcher who works around here, and he didn’t know what it was in English. So I’ll try to explain. It is a pork chop, but not the nice shaped one with a little border of fat that one usually buys, but a rather mis-shapen, fatty, scraggy one with a little bit of bone at one end. So if you can’t find this, just buy a cheap bit of pork, you are only going to cut it into little pieces anyway.  You can use filet mignon of pork, but it’s really too lean. There’s much more flavour in a fatty bit of pork.

For two people you will need:

  • one large or two small chops (or 200gr pork)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I put more but I over-salt everything)
  • 10 grains of szechuan pepper (optional), use whole
  • 3/4 tsp coriander seeds (or powdered coriander)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove grated fresh garlic
  • 1tbs oriental sesame oil
  • 1 scant tbs Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 2 tsb cornflour
  • corn oil for frying


Pork marinating

Pork slices marinating

  1. Cut the pork off the bone and into small slices (doesn’t matter how irregular they are).
  2. Place in a bowl with all the other ingredients except the cornflour and marinate for at least half an hour.
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan or wok, not enough for deep frying, but more than just a tbs. A few tbs let’s say.
  4. Add the cornflour to the pork, stir to coat, add more if necessary, it should be fairly dry; the whole thing tends to form a ball at this stage, don’t worry, you can separate the pieces when they are in the pan.
  5. Fry briskly until the pork is cooked through and is crispy all over, turning it several times and separating the bits with tongs or cooking chopsticks.
  6. Serve with plain boiled rice, or with lettuce leaves, mint and the green parts of spring onions.

I used to add an egg to the mixture before the cornflour. That makes a different type of batter around the meat, but requires more oil to fry.

After adding the cornflour

Not French at all, as you have guessed. Not really anything, I just invented it. It’s a taste I like. Actually, come to think of it, the inspiration probably came from a book I bought about 45 years ago, my first book of Chinese cuisine by Kenneth Lo: The Complete Chinese Cookbook. I still have it on a shelf next to me as I write.

The salad ingredients

Not exactly Weight Watchers stuff… but lighter if you use salad as an accompaniment and not rice. Just roll up pieces of pork and some mint and spring onion tops in large green lettuce leaves. You can add a dipping sauce if you like.

Ready to roll…

Boulettes de porc

Served here with polenta

Bon appétit!


About OneFrenchWord

I was a professional linguist and have been a life-long foodie. I am now lucky enough to be retired and free to roam the beaches around my home at the tip of the Finistère (Brittany, France). Writing is occupying a larger place in my life, with this blog and a children's book in preparation. I shall feel much happier calling myself a writer when I have published a book. And so posts on OneFrenchWord will be published first as an e-book, my ambition being to see a glossy volume on French language and cuisine in print some day. So keep reading, and snap up the book when it appears!

4 responses »

  1. this looks simple and tasty :)

  2. Miam…croustillant… les mots me donnent aussi l’eau à la bouche! …the word itself makes my mouth water…:)

  3. Pingback: Salade de nouilles croustillantes mi Siem « CUISINE KHMÈRE ET CAMBODGIENNE

  4. Pingback: Porc au caramel « CUISINE KHMÈRE ET CAMBODGIENNE

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