Learn how to make these delicious pan-seared delectable, sweet and savory pork chops that are restaurant worthy. They are perfect for any weeknight dinner and ready under just a few minutes on the grill.
Vietnamese Pork Chops are an absolute staple. If you have ever frequented a Vietnamese restaurant, you will know that grilled lemongrass is one of the first aromas you smell, which is probably what caused you to come into the store in the first place!
If you have ever tried thit nuong (Vietnamese grilled lemongrass pork), this is a sister recipe that is absolutely just as delicious.
Suon nuong is a homestyle meal staple in our family. For my family, we served this delicious pork chop pretty frequently during weeknights because it was just so easy to make. It's not overly sweet, and the recipe can easily be adjusted according to your preferences.
All About Vietnamese Pork Chops - Suon Nuong
What do Vietnamese pork chops taste like?
Vietnamese grilled pork chops are sweet, savory, and infused with the umani of lemongrass. When grilled authentically, the pork chops are juice, flavorful, and tender while also adding the texture of a charred exterior for that additional level of flavor.
What are other names for Vietnamese pork chops?
Vietnamese pork chops can be found under the following names, especially at Vietnamese restuarants:
- Vietnamese BBQ pork chops
- Vietnamese lemongrass porkchops
- suon nuong
- thit heo nuong sa
- suon heo nuong sa
What does suon nuong mean?
Suon means bone. Nuong means grilled.
For the other alternative names for this dish, thit means meat. Heo means pork or pig.
How do you eat suon nuong, Vietnamese pork chops?
Vietnamese pork chops are often served on a plate with broken rice, fresh cucumbers, tomatos, dipping sauce, and a fried egg. Half of the dipping sauce is drizzled over the rice. A piece of the pork chop is dipped in the dipping sauce, then is scooped up with a bite of rice, and all of it is eaten in a single bite.
Asian Grocery Store List for Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops
Lemongrass. You'll want to buy a few stalks, as they freeze well and are used in a variety of Vietnamese dishes.
Shallots. Shallots are really inexpensive at Asian markets. Sure, you can find them at your local grocer, but I would bet that shallots are less per pound at an Asian market.
Tips and Tricks Before Making Vietnamese Suon Nuong
When choosing pork chops for this recipe, you'll want to make sure you follow these tips and trick in order to ensure you have flavorful, moist pork chops.
While any pork cuts will work, I find that bone-in pork chops are the best cut of meat for this recipe. I would recommend choosing half inch thicknesses for pork chops. For whatever reason, I find bone-in cuts to hold the moisture better whereas precut pork chops tend to dry out faster. Thin pork chops will be easier to cook, but thicker cuts and bones will give off better flavor.
To get the best flavor out of this pork chop, you'll want to allow it to marinade overnight so that the flavor can permeate through the meat. I generally will plan the night before to allow the cut of meat to thaw, and then marinade in the morning before work. Once I get home from a workday, it will have had just enough time for the flavor to penetrate and inject flavor into the meat.
I would also recommend cutting the edges of the pork chops, which will allow them to not curl during the grilling or pan frying process.
The best way to prepare pork chops to retain flavor would be to pan fry this with vegetable oil. For a healthier version to omit the vegetable oil, grilling is probably a good alternative.
Pork chops that are grilled or pan fried generally take 4 to 7 minutes per side, depending on how thick the cut is. The most important tip for a tender, juicy, and flavorful pork chop is cooking it at a high enough temperature to prevent the pork from drying out. You'll want to make sure that you pull it off of the pan or the grill a little before the doneness temperature as the meat will continue to rise during the resting period on the plate.
For the lemongrass preparation, you'll want to peel off the intial few layers that are generally dried out. The white bulb and lighter green sections are the parts that are generally used in cooking. Before putting it in a processor, cut the white bulb part into half inch pieces before processing.
Other variations of this recipe include or omit fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. I know a lot of people do not prefer fish sauce, as it gives it a sharp taste. I tend to use a milder fish sauce (Squid brand), which avoids this issue.
How to Make Authentic KEYWORD Recipe
- 3 pounds of pork shoulder
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
- 1 tablespoon of MSG (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of palm sugar
- 2 tablespoon of brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon of salt
- 2 tablespoon of fish sauce
- In a food processor, finely mince the shallots, garlic, and lemongrass together.
- Add the mixture into a large bowl or Ziploc bag. Add in palm sugar, brown sugar, salt, and fish sauce.
- Under cold running water, rinse pork chops to get rid of any debris. Using a paper towel, pat dry the pork chops.
- Add the bone-in pork chops into the mixture. Let it marinade for at least 6 hours in the fridge.
- Remove the pork chops from the bowl or bag. Discard the extra marinade liquid. Allow the pork chops to come to room temperature.
- Grill or pan fry with vegetable oil the pork chops until the thickest part of the pork chop reads 140°F - 145°F.
- Remove the pork chops from the heat and onto a plate. Quickly cover with aluminium foil to trap the heat and allow the pork chops to continue cooking. Let rest for 5 minutes prior to serving with a bowl of rice and vegetables.
Another alternative method for cooking is to pan-fry both sides for two minutes, and then putting it in the oven to finish off at 400°F for an additional 5 minutes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 716Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 204mgSodium: 1159mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 54g
Serving Vietnamese Pork Chops
Vietnamese pork chops are often served with a bowl of steamed white rice and fresh vegetables that have a crunch, like sliced cucumbers or lettuce. Often, you'll find it served with a side of shredded pork skin that has been coated with toasted rice powder, daikon pickled carrots, nuoc mam fish sauce, and a fried egg. You may also find it served with an egg meat loaf as well as pork rind salad.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vietnamese Pork Chops
How long will leftover Vietnamese pork chops last?
Suon nuong will last up to 5 days in the refridgerator cooked.
Can you keep the left over marindate and baste the pork chop during cooking?
No, this is not recommended. The leftover marinade sauce should be discarded and not reused.
Is there a substitute for lemongrass?
No, there's no real substitute for lemongrass. You'll want to skip this recipe if you do not have lemongrass.
This Vietnamese pork chop recipe pairs well with a bowl of rice. The carmelization with the grill over hot flames allow the pork chop's exterior to while allowing the interior to be flavorful and savory.
Summary About Vietnamese Recipe
Vietnamese pork are one of the most popular meat dishes requested at Vietnamese restaurants. This quintessential dish of Vietnam has so many levels of flavor and will be a home run for any meal.
Easy Vietnamese Pork Recipes
Here are some additional authentic and delicious pork recipes that you will love:
- Vietnamese Braised Spare Pork Ribs
- Bun Cha vs Bun Thit Nuong
- Vietnamese Crispy Garlic Pork Belly
- How to Make Vietnamese Thit Kho
- Vietnamese Steamed Buns
- Vietnamese Roast Pork
- Vietnamese Xa Xiu