Lemongrass Pork

Lemongrass pork chops on a gas grill

Juicy, mouth-watering and delicious, this lemongrass pork will drive your Asian cuisine-loving foodie friends totally crazy. Perfect eaten alone or paired with grilled onions and pineapple or resting on a bed of bún and crunchy fried green onions, this lemongrass pork will not disappoint. This recipe is my favorite way to prepare thin-sliced pork and pork chops. Period.

The marinade in this lemongrass pork recipe melds flavors from Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Fish sauce and lemongrass represent Southeast Asia, oyster sauce represents China and soy sauce and rice wine vinegar represent Japan. The combination is fantastic because it delivers the basics — sweet, salty, sour and savory (umami) — in spades.

Technically speaking, the marinade could be classified as a brine because it contains a lot of sodium ions in  solution from the soy sauce and fish sauce. However, it also contains oil and acid so I’m not sure if it acts as a true brine.

Credit for the marinade ingredients goes to the geniuses at The Meal Planner the blog. I’ve simply adopted their list and added lemongrass to it. I do not believe it is possible to make a better pork marinade. To quote the crafty villain Vizzini from Princess Bride, “it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable!”

Whatever the case, this recipe for lemongrass pork will have your friends drooling like Pavlov’s dogs! Enjoy!

1 to 1-1/2 pounds of thinly sliced pork
4 tbsp peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks lemongrass (white cores only), minced
2 tbsp light soy sauce (Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce)
4 tbsp light brown or palm sugar
4 tbsp rice vinegar (Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
ground black pepper (optional)

1. Pour peanut oil into a zip-lock bag.
2. Finely mince garlic and lemongrass and put in same bag.
3. Smash garlic and lemongrass in the bag with the palm of your hand.
4. Add remaining ingredients and gently shake the bag to mix the ingredients.
5. Insert pork in bag and make sure that the marinade covers the meat evenly.
6. Marinate the pork for 24 hours in a refrigerator.
7. Sear and grill the pork on a gas or charcoal grill.

Smashing the garlic and lemongrass will release their essences into the oil and give the pork more flavor. Be careful not to break or puncture the bag when doing this with your palm.

A good sear on the meat is a must. I prefer to use heavy duty cast iron grill grates, such as Craycort cast iron grill grates for Weber grills.

Lemongrass pork chops don’t get any better than this. It is utterly inconceivable!


One thought on “Lemongrass Pork

  1. Having had Lemongrass pork chops on 2 different occasions, I can vouch that they are simply the BEST! Unbelievable flavor! My kids love them, too.