Pork Chops with Purslane in Tomatillo Sauce

If you grew up in a tropical climate, Purslane was not something you went to the market to buy. It was something that your mom sent you to look for around the neighborhood, whether at a neighbor’s house or on the side of the road. It used to be the same way with Nopales, also. For example, my Mom would ask some of my siblings or me to go to a neighbor’s house, if she was growing purslane, and kindly ask for some. You would arrive at her house and say something like:
Good Morning Sra. Lupita, my Mom says if you would be so kind to share some Purslane for today’s meal.” It could be purslane, nopales, lime, epazote, mint, avocados, or whatever they had planted in their patio. At my parents’ home we had limes, so people would often come to our house asking if we could share some limes with them. Those were other times, but I’m not feeling nostalgic since the convenience of modern life let’s me go to the supermarket and buy them by pounds or bunches!

If you haven’t tried Purslane before, this is your chance to do it with this mouth-watering pork-tomatillo stew. This stew is one of the most common ways that you will find purslane prepared in central Mexico. Another way to prepare it is to boil it and then fry it with scrambled eggs for brunch. Purslane’s flavor can be compared to that of spinach.

  • 2 Lbs Pork chops 3/4 in. thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 bunches of purslane, cleaned and thick stems removed (About 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 Lb Tomatillos 
  • 4 Serrano peppers*
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Water to cook tomatillos and Serrano peppers 
  • 2/3 cup of white onion chopped.
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin ground
  • salt to taste
* you can substitute the Serrano peppers using 2 jalapeno peppers
** This dish is so versatile that you can also use zucchini, chayotes, nopales or other green vegetables.
Pork chops with pruslane
1. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pork chops and brown well on both sides. This step will take about 15 minutes. Turn the pork at least once during the cooking time.
2. While the pork chops are browning, combine husked tomatillos and pepper in a saucepan covered with water. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook until tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Place chopped onion, garlic, cooked tomatillo, and Serrano peppers in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add a little of the tomatillo-cooking water to the blender if needed.
Pork chops with purslane2
4. Once your pork chops are well browned, add the tomatillo sauce. Add the chopped purslane, cumin and salt. If you wish, you can mix in other veggies like I did here, by adding diced zucchini. It’s a great combination. Keep simmering on low heat for about 20 more minutes, until the pork chop meat is tender.
Serve with Mexican white rice (or pinto beans, as we do at home), along with lots of warm corn tortillas to dip into the sauce.

¡Buen provecho!


  1. Oh, that dish looks so good. Blessings, Catherine

  2. I'm growing a tomatillo in a large container on my patio and it's covered with blooms. I am definitely going to try this. Love pork chops. I lived in Zihuatanejo for several years and I miss it so much. Your clay cookware made me nostalgic. I have not seen purselane in any grocery stores where I live but since you said it kind of compares to spinach I will use that. I love your blog, especially the how to's.

  3. Mely, I have verdolaga s growing in my back yard. I used to think they were weeds but one day I recognized the plant and started using it in my kitchen. I love verdolagas con espinaso, I will try your recipe some day

  4. Hi,
    Mely! I really want to make this dish, but I can't find Purslane!! :( I have searched in my local grocery store and I just haven't had any luck. I have tried a few of your recipes on here and I have to say your blog is a life saver.

    1. Hello Tifferella,

      You can use Nopalitos or other type of greens like spinach or chard.



  5. Found your blog and must say it is "excellent." I love the way you have outlined the meats and recipes. Congratulations and thank you for making it so easy for a novice cook such as myself.

    1. Thank Ron Provencio! Enjoy and happy cooking!


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