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Vietnamese Pork Chop Recipe: The Best Sườn Nướng

Vietnamese Pork Chop Recipe: The Best Sườn Nướng


Sườn Nướng is a delicious dish that’s not hard to love. It’s got the flavor of pork, rich umami, bright spices, and a touch of sweetness that blends together harmoniously and is served over a warm bowl of rice. 


If you’ve never had Sườn Nướng, you absolutely need to try it! Sườn nướng might just become one of your go-to dishes for a quick weeknight meal. This dish is super easy to make, and it's sure to leave you feeling satisfied. So let’s get started on your journey to delicious Vietnamese pork chops!

 

What Is Sườn Nướng?

Sườn nướng is a classic Vietnamese dish that is full of rich, savory flavors. This classic lemongrass pork chop recipe is seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce, and lemongrass. 


Also, sườn nướng is typically grilled over charcoal, giving the meat a touch of smoky flavor that we love to see in barbeque dishes. 


Sườn nướng is normally served over a bed of jasmine white rice. The delicious marinade seeps into the soft, absorbent rice to savor with every bite. 


You also can serve sườn nướng with fresh cucumbers, pickled carrots, or tomatoes and top it off with a fried egg. This meal is hearty and has a good share of vegetables, so it’s very well-rounded.

 

What Are the Origins of Sườn Nướng?


Sườn nướng is just one of the many cơm tấm dishes in existence. But, it has now become a Vietnamese staple. 


Com tam suon nuong first appeared in the old regime period in Vietnam. It is considered the quintessence of Vietnamese and American cuisine. Since ancient times, Cơm tấm has been a popular dish served with broken grains for the working class and students on a budget. 


But what exactly is broken rice? It is rice grains that have been discarded after they are broken down.

 

How Is Sườn Nướng Traditionally Prepared?

Sườn Nướng’s most quintessential ingredient is lemongrass. The herby, lemony flavor pairs so well with pork chops, which thrives in flavor. Fish sauce and soy sauce add another level of umami to the mix with garlic and shallots bringing a touch of acidity, and sweetened with sugar or honey.


The pork chops are marinated in the mixture. This helps tenderize the pork chop and fill it with delicious flavors, helping to make for a delectable, juicy piece of meat when it’s finished cooking.


The meat is normally cooked over charcoal as the lack of oil means that there is less fat in the dish, making sườn nướng a healthy option.


How Should Sườn Nướng Be Eaten?

To serve your sườn nướng, you’ll want to follow a few specific instructions. The key is to reserve the excess sauce. Serve up your rice, and pour the sauce over it. Then, pour the rest into a bowl. 


Sườn nướng is also normally served with an egg and your choice of vegetables.

 

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Sườn Nướng?

Sườn nướng only requires a few ingredients that you may already have at home or at your local supermarket.

 

Pork Chops

Prepare thawed high-quality pork chops. For best results, you’re going to want your pork chops to have the bone still intact. Bone-in pork chops tend to be juicier, and the bone helps build better flavor.


Then, try to make sure your pork chops are about a half-inch thick. Choosing porn chops on the thinner side will help the marinade absorb all the way through the meat, making for a deep umami flavor. In addition, this will help the meat cook quickly and evenly, which is essential for nice, juicy pork chops. 


Fish Sauce and Soy Sauce

One of the most important ingredients for that rich umami is fish sauce. Fish sauce is a salty sauce that is made from anchovy extract. It not only gives a subtle fish flavor to your dish, but it also makes the dish extra savory and tenderizes the meat with its saltiness. 


The soy sauce has a similar effect, which makes these two essential sauces work together for that extra zing.

 

White Sugar

The powerful umami of the sauce and bright acidity of the lemongrass is balanced with just a touch of sweetness. Sugar helps to round out sườn nướng in the best way.


The sweetness of white sugar adds a whole new dimension to the overall flavor of the meat, and it’s what makes sườn nướng such a fantastic dish.

 

Cooking Oil

You’re also going to need some oil to cook your meat. You can cook your sườn nướng on the grill with no cooking oil at all, but it is a must-have if you prefer to cook your meat on a skillet or bake it.


The best cooking oil for this dish is a neutral oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil and canola oil. Avocado oil is another neutral oil with an even higher smoke point. 


Just don’t use any oils that have flavor to them as olive oil and coconut oil may impact the overall taste and are best avoided for sườn nướng.

 

Lemongrass, Garlic, and Shallots

The rest of your flavor is going to come from lemongrass, which is the key ingredient here. Lemongrass is a unique Asian ingredient that might be tough to find, but you can find it here at Umamicart.


It has a bright lemony flavor with a touch of mintiness, but the real thing it brings to the table is the aroma. Your kitchen will smell of bright citrus and herbs, and when it’s cooked, the aromas will unify in the best way. The smell is incredible. 


Shallots are another important part of sườn nướng. Shallots are similar to onions, but much more mild in flavor. In this instance, the shallots will serve to enhance the flavor of the lemongrass and fish sauce, rather than overpower it with oniony aromas. 


Garlic is a common ingredient in most Asian dishes. It adds a light sweetness and a bit of nuttiness to the dish. It really polishes up the flavor and makes it beautiful.


Scallions

Scallions will serve as a great garnish to the dish, adding a light oniony aroma and a brilliant green color that will nicely contrast the rest of the dish. 

 

How Do I Make Sườn Nướng?

Making sườn nướng is simple and doesn’t require many steps. It makes for a nice easy meal after a long day, but it doesn’t spare any flavor.

 

Season and Marinate Your Pork Chops As Desired

First, you’re going to want to prepare your pork chops and season them. If you really want to go the extra mile to get incredibly tender pork chops, try putting them in a salt brine


Whisk about three tablespoons of salt into three cups of water and let the meat sit in it for at least 30 minutes, and up to three hours. This will help break down the proteins in your meat, which will make your meat super tender and full of flavor. 


After that, it’s time to mix all of your marinade ingredients together. 


Add your fish sauce, soy sauce, and a touch of oil to the mixture and then stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved. Then, grab your knife and mince your garlic, and chop your shallots and lemongrass, and put them in the mixture with some freshly ground black pepper. 


Place all of these ingredients inside a freezer bag, and then place your pork chops inside. Remove as much air as possible so that the marinade covers the meat completely. Let your mixture sit in the fridge for at least an hour. 


While your pork is marinating, now’s the time to cut up some fresh vegetables. Cucumbers and tomatoes are some classic vegetables served with sườn nướng. 


Towards the end of the marinating process, prepare and cook your rice. There’s nothing quite like piping hot meat and rice together!

 

Pan-Fry, Grill, or Bake Your Pork Chops

Now that your meat is properly seasoned and your rice is cooking, it’s time to cook up your meat. You can use any method you prefer, but, generally speaking, the key to great pork chops is to cook them at high heat. If they cook quickly, a crust will form on the outside, sealing in the juices.


To pan fry, put a little bit of oil in your skillet and heat it up to medium high heat. 


Once your oil is hot, gently lay in your pork chops. Cook two to three minutes on the first side and one to two minutes on the second side, then remove the meat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. 


If you like to grill pork, whether over charcoal or on a gas grill, the key is to get a nice sear on high heat, and then finish cooking at a lower temp to seal in all those juices. Cook on high heat for about two minutes on each side, then lower the heat to medium to simmer and cover for about five minutes. 


To bake your pork chops, set your oven to 375 degrees and let it cook for about 25 minutes. Once it reaches 145 internal temperature, remove the pork chops and let them rest for about five minutes.

 

Serve with Rice 

Serve up a lovely plate of your delicious broken rice. The rice will absorb the sauce, making it a match in heaven.


While your pork is resting, quickly fry up an egg sunny side up. Now put everything together. The cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled carrots, egg, rice, and pork will make for an absolutely delicious and complete meal.

 

Garnish With Garlic, Shallots, and Lemongrass

If you want to garnish your sườn nướng, you can garnish with a little bit of your extra garlic, shallots, and lemongrass for an extremely flavorful topping. Or if you’re looking for a more simple garnish, scallions are a great option as well. 

 

Top With Extra Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce, If Desired

If you like your pork chops extra flavorful, feel free to top off your sườn nướng with a little bit of extra fish sauce or soy sauce to suit your taste.

 

How Long Can Pork Chops Marinate?

You can marinate pork for a pretty long time. Pork is one of the denser meats out there, so it can take a little extra time in your marinade. 


Marinate for at least one hour, but you can marinate your pork for up to 24 hours.That will help your pork chops better absorb a good amount of flavor and juices.

 

Is It Possible To Marinate Pork for Too Long?

You can definitely marinate your pork for too long. Leaving it for longer than one day can really affect the texture of the meat.

 

What Kind of Rice Should I Serve With Sườn Nướng?

Really, you can serve up sườn nướng with whatever kind of rice you want. As long as you enjoy your meal, you’ve done it right. 

 

Steamed White Rice

White rice is probably the best pairing for this specific dish. The subtle sweetness of white rice pairs well with the subtle sweetness of the sườn nướng. Not to mention, white rice is particularly good at absorbing flavors and sauces, which will definitely benefit this meal.

 

Broken Rice

As we’ve mentioned before, sườn nướng is normally served with broken rice in Vietnam. The softer, smaller, broken grains are able to absorb a bit more flavor, and they have a pleasant texture that just works well together. However, you can always use any rice or quinoa if you prefer.

 

How Should Leftovers Be Stored?

You can keep your leftover sườn nướng in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure it is airtight to stay good for as long as possible. In addition, if you can keep the meat and rice separate, that will help to keep everything from getting mushy while stored. 

 

How Long Will Leftovers Stay Fresh?

Your leftovers should stay fresh for about four days if you store it right. It’s a great recipe that’s quite easy to reheat, so if you want to make it in a bigger batch and eat some for lunch the next day, you absolutely can.

 

The Bottom Line

Sườn nướng is one of those meals you just have to try. And why wouldn’t you? It’s absolutely delicious and simple to make at home. It can be your weeknight meal, your new family favorite, or even both. 


And if you need ingredients to make sườn nướng or any other Asian dishes, head to Umamicart


We are an online Asian grocery store that delivers to your doorstep. Finding quality Asian ingredients has never been easier!





Sources:

Cơm Tấm | Traditional Rice Dish From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Taste Atlas

Grilled Lemongrass Pork Tenderloin Skewers: Suon Nuong Xa | Recipes Network 

Tips & Tricks for Perfect Pork Chops | Food Schmooze 

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