This quintessential rice dish of Vietnamese pork chops is packed with flavor, super easy to make, and a crowd pleaser!
The marinade adds a ton of garlicky, lemongrassy flavor that pairs great with the pork chops. Grilling adds an amazing aroma and sear, and as if the chops aren’t flavorful enough, they’re topped with scallions & oil.
It comes with veggies and a lil’ bowl of dipping fish sauce on the side which goes great with Sambal Oelek (my choice!) or fresh chilies if you prefer.
These chops are something I used to eat all the time during late night food outings and it’s a dish that was the bulk of what Mom sold at her restaurant–so you bet I got some tips from her on this recipe!
Look how much aromatic action we have going into this marinade: a fistful of garlic, shallots, and lemongrass!
A cool trick for these “Asian pork chops” is to snip the pork chops around the edges like these. About 3-5 cuts per chop, about 1″ deep each. It looks kinda cool once you grill them up, but the important thing is that the pork chops will stay flat.
If you don’t cut the edges like this, the chops will curl as it cooks, making it more difficult to manage and cook evenly unless you’re baking them. Just cut em.
Marinade for at least 3 hours, but ideally overnight. It’s going to take a bit of time to infuse these pork chops with all that incredibly aromatic garlic, shallot, and lemongrass, but the overnight wait is worth it.
You can flip it midway through marinating to ensure the chops are coated and marinating evenly.
The lemongrass is what makes this marinade different than a normal one. You could pull out the lemongrass and use this as an Asian marinade for any kind of meat.
And thats it! Pull em out of the marinade and discard the extra liquid.
I LOVE the smell of cooking these on the grill, plus you get these great looking sear marks.
Once the grill is preheated on high, you can lower temps a bit them throw the chops on. It doesn’t take too long to get the marks! Just rotate them ~45 degrees after the first set of marks are on, then flip and repeat on the other side.
Then pull em off the grill and serve with your favorite veggies! These pork chops are topped with even more flavor: scallions and oil.
The dipping sauce is the same fish sauce recipe here. If you’re making a big bowl of sauce to share for dinner, use a spoon to sauce up your plate instead of dipping your cuts in so you keep the sauce clean for everyone else.
You may typically find this dish served with com tam (broken rice) but long grain rice you typically find with Vietnamese cuisine works.
I actually love the stickyness of short grain rice and would recommend it with these pork chops too.
I used to eat these often at late night Viet restaurants when nothing else is open and always got it topped with a fried egg. Come to think of it, if I had em on hand, throwing a seasoned ramen egg on there would work just as well!
Try it out, and leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out for you!
Vietnamese Pork Chops (Sườn Nướng)
- 2 lb pork chops about 6 chops
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- 4 Tbsp neutral cooking oil
- 6 Tbsp lemongrass, minced
- 2 Tbsp garlic, minced about 6 cloves
- 2 Tbsp shallots, minced
- Rinse pork chops under running water and lightly scrub with salt. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine and dissolve sugar and MSG. Then add the Marinade Aromatics.
- Marinade the pork chops in a bowl or bag in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but ideally overnight.
- Remove the chops from the marinade and discard the extra liquid--you can keep the aromatics on that stuck to the chops though.
- Grill on a BBQ all at once or pan fry the chops without crowding the pan. You can sear on high heat for browning or grill marks, then lower to medium heat and cook on both sides until cooked all the way through. Chops are done when opaque inside and very lightly pink, about 145 degrees F.
- Serve with a side of rice, veggies & garnish, and nuoc cham (dipping/prepared fish sauce).