My cousin and I used to live with a Vietnamese housemate when we were in uni. Whilst she didn’t cook very often, she would make these pork chops that would smell so good as it wafted through our entire unit. Believe me when I say it was hard not to salivate, and there was nowhere to run since we lived in a tiny, tiny apartment. It wasn’t long before I questioned what in the world was taking over my senses with that crazily delicious aroma (in a good way).
Turns out that the secret ingredient is fish sauce. I know, how could I not have known? But of course, back then, I didn’t know much about food at all, simply what tasted good and what didn’t. I’ve put in a lot more effort to learn about food from other cultures, and I think it’s definitely a good learning curve to battle, albeit one that makes me constantly hungry. What can I say? I’ll blame it on my education.
I made these for a BBQ over the weekend but you can certainly pan-fry or grill these pork chops. The thought did cross my mind that raw sugar would be enough, but I wanted to try something different, so I used palm sugar for a more caramelised taste. Can’t say that these are exactly Vietnamese or anything, hence the ‘inspired’ label, but it certainly was a fond reminder of those grilled pork chop + broken rice (Cơm tấm) sets at my favourite Vietnamese eateries. I might even buy some broken rice next time to go with these!
Vietnamese-Inspired BBQ Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp palm sugar, mashed
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Combine everything in a bowl and poke the pork chops with the tip of a sharp knife to make sure the marinade is absorbed well.
- Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil on your hot plate or pan, or lightly coat with baking spray. When hot, add the pork chops and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Serve immediately with your choice of carbs and greens.