Lemongrass Grilled Pork Chops

  • Prep Time
    2 hours (including marinade)
  • Cook Time
    10 minutes
  • Serving
  • View

This dish is called Bun Thit Noung in Vietnamese. “Thit” is pronounced without the “h,” and “Noung,” is pronounced, “noong.” Thit Noung means grilled meat in Vietnamese. It is usually pork that is marinated with lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar, and then grilled over charcoal or baked in the oven. It is a popular dish that can be served with rice, noodles, or bread, and often accompanied by fresh herbs, salad, pickled vegetables, and fish sauce dressing. I found this recipe in Jet Li’s 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die (2017) but I used thin pork loin chops instead of the sliced pork shoulder he recommended, and I grilled the pork on my Big Green Egg instead of searing it on a griddle.  I think my alterations to Li’s recipe were a huge improvement.

As for the Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce, I liked the explanation and recipe on the HungryHuy.com web site.  The ingredients are:

Water – 6 TBS.

Sugar – 2 TBS.

Lime juice – 2 TBS.

Fish sauce –  1 1/2 TBS.

You can make a simple syrup with 3 TBS. water and 2 TBS. sugar and add the rest of the water to the sauce, if you want to do it that way.  And you have to really taste this as you go because limes vary in tartness and sour-ness, and Fish sauce also varies in taste by brand.  Add minced garlic, chilis and cilantro if you want.

And keep in mind that you can add all sorts of things to this dish.  The base is a bowl of rice vermicelli noodles (bun) and then you top the noodles with the pork, all sorts of vegetables (carrots, scallions, radishes, cucumbers) and chopped peanuts, cilantro and a drizzle of the Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce.  I just happened to have some leftover stir-fried turkey that I used in my Thai Lettuce Wraps the night before.  The turkey was excellent on the Bun with the pork chops! This is a fun dish to make on a weekend night when you have time to leisurely put it all together.  I was amazed at how much flavor the marinade gave the pork chops!  This was every bit as good as any noodle bowl I have ever had in a Vietnamese restaurant.




Pork Chop Bowl

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce


    Make the marinade first. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whir on HIGH until you have a thick pasty sauce.

    Step 1

    Marinate the chops for two hours in a big plastic bag.

    Step 2

    Grill the chops -- don't overcook them!

    Step 3

    Boil the bun (noodles). Bring a big pot of water to a boil, toss in the noodles and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse in cool water. (You could do this before you grill the chops and let the noodles cool until you are ready to put them in the bowl).

    Step 4

    Have the sauce ready and the vegetables sliced.

    Step 5

    Make the Bowl. Put the noodles in the bottom, then the pork chops and mound the rest of the ingredients on top. Serve with the sauce.

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