Vietnamese Lemongrass Grilled Pork, Thit Heo Nuong Xa

Reading my last post, I can’t help but laugh, “It’s suppose to storm this week in California and I’m ready for it.” šŸ˜‚ Well I thought the “storm” would be just some heavy rainfall, I didn’t expect it to knock down two of our fences as well as break off a huge limb from our protected pine tree, and wreak havoc on our yard. Some people, including my poor sister, were left without power for hours. Luckily we weren’t among those that lost power for a significant amount of time. I think in the future I will be more careful with what I decided to say to nature. All in all, we are fine and our property will be fine, and life moves forward.

Last week was my husband’s birthday and I wanted to make a special dinner for my family, Com Tam Thit Nuong, which translates to Broken Rice Grill Pork. This is a recipe I only make for special occasions, mainly because it does use a lot of sugar, but indulging every once in a while is ok, right? The amount I make is usually shared with other people so at least it’s spread out a bit. The moment I announced the menu to my family, I had a little bit of uh-oh maybe I should back track. It was A LOT of work preparing everything, but at the end of the day, I never regret the work I put in when I see the family gather for a wonderful meal. At least I decided to forego making the cake myself (good decision on my part).

The grilled pork itself is not hard, but to make it a wonderful meal, you need to accompany it with dipping sauce, scallion oil, pickled veggies, salad…etc, which acutally ends up taking a lot of time. On top of that I added egg rolls, and that is a whole venture in its own. The good thing was I had the dipping sauce, scallion oil, and pickled veggies already made and so that left me with only the pork and egg rolls.

Just a couple notes for Vietnamese grilled pork, scallion oil is very important. It’s adds a nice flavor to the meal that I think it essential for Vietnamese rice plates and noodle dishes. Nuon mam dipping sauce is also necessary. All these flavors layer together and create a very authentic, unique, and tantalizing meal!

For the pork (enough to feed about 6-8 people)
2 stalk lemongrass
2 shallots
3 green onions white only
5 cloves garlic (2 tbs garlic)
5 Tbs caramel sauce (nuoc mau)
5 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs vegetable oil
4 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs dark soy sauce
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs black pepper
2.5 -3 lbs pork tenderloin or shoulder,  sliced 1/4 inch thickness
or 4 lbs thin-cut pork chops

3 tbs caramel sauce, 1 tbs water, 1 tbs oil 1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients from lemongrass to black pepper in a food processor until smooth.
Add to the pork and marinate for 24 hours.
Grill on medium heat about 5 minutes per side or until pork is cooked through.
Apply glaze to each size about 1 minute before pork is done cooking.

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