Grilled Vietnamese Pork Chops

I struggled with whether or not I should include recipes in my blog.  After all, I’m just a regular home cook with a couple of awesome dishes up her sleeve.  That said, Kristen said these were some of the best grilled chops she’s ever had and that not sharing them would be a crime in itself.  Since its grill season and we have a new grill, here I am sharing my recipe for grilled Vietnamese pork chops.  I’m not Vietnamese but I certainly do make a mean Vietnamese Pork Chop.

Most of the time, I wing proportions of ingredients but because of you, my dear dear readers, I’ve made an effort to note down all my proportions and hope that they will help you.  Feel free to make adjustments as needed – make it your own I always say!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb Pork Shoulder (sliced into 1 inch thick slices and tenderized with a mallet if you want) – This yielded about 8 nice sized chops for me

Marinate:

  • 1 stick of lemon grass grated (you should be able to get this at your local supermarket in the herb/asian section)
  • 5 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce (easily replace with regular soy)
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (this is probably the most exotic ingredient but check your local Asian stores, they definitely have it!)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Sauce: (Totally optional but I like it a little bit wet!)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce

Step One: Cut your chops into 1 inch thick slices.  I like to tenderize them just a bit with a mallet.  It also helps me deal with residual anger issues.  The cut of meat I used was a little leaner than I would have liked – so if you can get fattier pieces, do, because it makes everything just a tad more juicy.

Step Two:  Mix all the sauces together (soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, honey and black pepper).  Once you get a nice mix going, add in your grated garlic and grated lemon grass.  In case you’re wondering what lemon grass looks like, here’s what I got.

 

Step Three:  TASTE the sauce.  It should be light to dark brown depending on the type of soy sauce you use and taste savory sweet with notes of garlic and a scent of lemon grass.  If you want it sweeter, add more honey.  If you want it more savory, add more fish sauce.  After you are satisfied, add the oil.  (I apologize for not taking a photo of the sauce but you can see what it is like in the next picture!)

Step Four:  Add your marinate to your chops.  I prefer to tenderize my chops a tad to make sure they don’t turn out too tough when I grill them.  Make sure to get into all those nooks and crannies!  Leave it for at least 5 hours or overnight if you can.

Step Five:  Heat your grill up and oil it to ensure the chops don’t stick.  Grill on medium to high heat for about 4 minutes on each side.  Try to get fantastic grill marks on them!  You want them slightly charred but cooked quickly so that they don’t dry out.  Pork has a tendency to do that.  As you are grill, take some of the remaining marinate you have from the bowl you kept the chops it and brush the chops.  If you run out of marinate, use your sauce to keep them wet.  This is important in keeping them juicy!

Step Six:  Serve with some lettuce and pig out!

So try it this weekend and if you do, let me know what you think and how it can be improved!  I’m always looking to get better!

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