I didn’t even know I was looking for a Vietnamese pork chop recipe until I found this one. I was flipping through a Vietnamese cookbook at my library called An: To Eat: Recipes and Stories from a Vietnamese Family Kitchen and these pork chops spoke to me. The caramelized glaze made with Vietnamese umami stars like hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce had my mouth watering. Served with steamed rice and drizzled with some traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce (also known as fish sauce or Nuoc Cham), dinner doesn’t get much homier than these Vietnamese pork chops. Oh, the happy memories of my mother’s pork chops for dinner after coming home from soccer practice in high school will always make me smile.
But, it’s been years since I’ve had pork chops made at home. I’ve never been able to get the cooking technique right. One of the challenges of making pork chops with a caramelized glaze is getting the meat to cook all the way through before the glaze burns. This recipe solves that problem by roasting the pork chops first and then finishing them off with a quick sear and a reduction of the pan juices to create the glaze. So ingenious and so delicious.
If you want to go really traditional, you can serve the pork chops with a fried egg on top. For once, I am going to suggest skipping the fried egg (don’t tell my husband). The pork chops are plenty flavorful without the addition of some runny yolks. Instead, opt for a simple salad of cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes to add a little crunch and keep things on the healthy side. Besides, you’re going to want to save those calories for some Vietnamese iced coffee. Trust me.
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 pounds (1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic, optional
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Steamed rice
- Sliced cucumbers
- Carrot ribbons
- Sliced tomatoes
- Whisk together the garlic, shallots, oil, honey, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the pork chops and turn to coat evenly. Marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator overnight.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Remove the pork chops from the bowl and discard the marinade. Place the pork chops on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Cover the pork chops with another piece of foil. Roast the pork chops in the oven until the pork chops are almost cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the pork chops from the oven. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the pork chops (reserving pan juices) and sear them for 2 minutes on each side until well caramelized and pork chops are cooked through (165 degrees F internally). Pour reserved pan juices over the pork chops. Cook for 30 seconds allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken while turning the pork chops in the sauce to evenly coat them.
- Put scallions and oil in a heat proof bowl. Heat oil in microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute until oil is hot but not sizzling.
- Mix the sugar and water together in a medium bowl until all the sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Brush pork chops with scallion oil. Serve pork chops with steamed rice topped with desired amount of dipping sauce and a salad of cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes.
Recipe for pork chops from An: To Eat: Recipes and Stories from a Vietnamese Family Kitchen.