Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Vietnamese style lemongrass pork recipe - bite size or pork chops!

I love lemongrass. It adds a touch of fragrant lemon flavor to dishes without the tartness, and its essential in Vietnamese cooking.  I was inspired by my Viet girlfriend's kickass lemongrass chicken wings that are fantastic when slowly BBQ'ed over charcoal.  The marinade works for chicken wings too, but using pork is a bit healthier, and you can make these either on the BBQ or on the stove in a pan as bite sized chunks of flavourful awesome or as a pork chop if you're entertaining.
I like using shoulder butt steaks for this recipe as it has a good balance of lean meat and some marbling to give it flavor.  You can use center cut or loin steaks as well, but I find they're a it on the lean side so they dry out easier on the grill and on the stove.

Ingredients
Lemongrass Marinade - works for pork or chicken wings!
-2 large shoulder butt steak pork chops, boneless, about 1 lb
-1 tablespoon fish sauce
-1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes (more if you like it hot!)
-1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, I use sriracha (more if you like it hot!)
-2 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass - you can find in frozen aisle of Asian grocery stores
-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
-1/2 teaspoon sugar (brown or white), honey works too, but I find it burns a heck of a lot easier!

How to on the BBQ
1) Marinate the pork or chicken for at least 20minutes.  If marinating overnight, take out of the fridge to come to room temperature for 20-30min.
2) Over medium hot coals or medium heat BBQ, cook:
-pork chops about 2 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads 145F or 63C. Let rest for a few minutes,  garnish with a bit of cilantro and/or green onions if you like and serve with rice, rice vermicelli and vegetables and dig in!
-chicken wings about 3 minutes per side until the wings are golden brown and lemon grass chars a bit, or until internal temperature reads 165F or 73C. Let rest for a few minutes,  garnish with a bit of cilantro and/or green onions if you like and serve with rice, rice vermicelli and vegetables and dig in!

How to in the house
1) You can choose to cut the pork into 1 inch cubes if you like. Marinate the pork or chicken for at least 20minutes.  If marinating overnight, take out of the fridge to come to room temperature for 20-30min.
2)
Pork: Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Dump in the pork and sear on all sides for 5-6 minutes until the lemongrass browns and internal temperature reads 145F or 63C. Let rest for a few minutes, garnish with a bit of cilantro and/or green onions if you like and serve with rice, rice vermicelli and vegetables!
Chicken wings: Arrange wings on a lightly greased lined cookie pan. Pop into a pre-heated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes. Flip wings over carefully with tongs and roast for 5-10min longer, be careful as a it of charred lemongrass is awesome, too much = burnt! Internal temperature should be165F or 73C. Let rest for a few minutes and dig in!



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