Vietnamese cooks really know the secret to excellent caramelized grilled and broiled meats. The combination of delicate lemongrass with salty fish sauce, garlic, and palm sugar is irresistible. I can see why this dish is so beloved in Vietnam.
Thit Heo Nuong Xa – Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chops
- Food processor or mortar and pestle
- Plastic freezer bag
- 1½ tsp White pepper (or black)
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- 1 large Shallot, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 3 stalk Lemongrass, bottom 6-inches, outer leaves discarded, sliced vertically and then into 1-inch pieces
- 3 oz Palm sugar, cut and crushed with a heavy pan (dark brown sugar OK)
- ¼ cup Asian fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1½ lb Thin-cut pork chops, with or without bones.
- 1 RECIPE Nuoc Cham with shredded carrots
- 1 large Cucumber, sliced
- Prepare Marinade – Add salt, lemongrass, palm sugar, garlic, shallot, and pepper to a food processor and process into a rough paste. Add fish sauce and oil. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Marinate Pork – Put pork chops in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade into the bag. Squeeze out air, seal, and massage marinade into the meat. Set on counter to marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Pork may be marinated for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Grill – Heat ½ of a grill to very hot with the cover closed for 10 minutes. Grill pork chops over high heat, 5 to 6 minutes total. If any seem to be too charred, move to cool side of the grill. Serve with white rice, sliced cucumber and nuoc cham.