Vietnamese Pork Chops

 Take your go-to weeknight protein to the next level with these mouthwatering Vietnamese pork chops. They're full of salty, sweet, and tangy flavors, heightened by the uniquely fragrant profile of the lemongrass. Once you learn how to prep this simple herb, you'll want to use it all the time! This recipe comes together quickly. You can serve the pork chops alongside warm white rice or flat rice noodles. You can also serve it with classic Vietnamese condiments like pickled carrots and nuoc cham, a tangy Vietnamese dipping sauce. Extra hoisin sauce is always welcome, and Sriracha doesn't hurt either!

  • 4 boneless center-cut pork chops
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup oil, for frying
  • Chopped scallions, or chives, for garnish

1. Gather your ingredients. Place pork chops in a shallow bowl or a plastic bag. Make sure either is large enough to fit the marinade as well.

2. Peel the outer coarse layers of the lemongrass away. After removing the root, finely chop the bottom third of each stalk. Whisk together the fish sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, and minced garlic with the lemongrass Whisk in a tablespoon of water as well.

3. Pour the marinade over the pork chops. Cover with plastic wrap and allow them to marinate for thirty minutes in the refrigerator. Heat up the oil in your skillet to a medium-high heat. Add the pork chops in a single layer. If they don't fit in a single layer, fry them in batches. 

4. Fry on one side until browned, about four minutes. Flip and continue frying on the second side until browned and cooked through. Add the rest of the marinade to the pan and allow it to reduce and thicken slightly. Serve the pork chops immediately on top of rice or rice noodles with a sprinkle of scallions or chives.

Whisk in a tablespoon of cornstarch to the marinade before adding it back to the pan to thicken. This will create a thicker, glossier sauce. 

You can grill these pork chops instead of pan-frying them. You can thicken the marinade in a separate pan on the stovetop or grill or just don't add the extra marinade at the end. They will be delicious either way.  The flavor from the grill adds a great dimension to the pork chops and is the perfect choice for the summer months when it's too hot to cook inside! You can marinate the pork chops for up to four hours before cooking. Too much longer and the meat will start to "cure" in the acidic vinegar