Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Chops (Suon Nuong)
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Three of these ultra-thin ¼”-thick pork chops for this dish, flavored with a caramel-lemongrass marinade, can be cut from one hefty American-style pork chop. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100, with the story Vietnamese Pork Chops.

Vietnamese Pork Chops (Suon Nuong) Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Chops (Suon Nuong)
Three of these ultra-thin 1/4"-thick pork chops for this dish, flavored with a caramel-lemongrass marinade, can be cut from one hefty American-style pork chop.
Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 12 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 13 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 14 cup thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 12 tbsp. fish sauce (available at Red Boat)
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. 1/4″-thick pork blade chops, pounded thin
  • Cooked white rice and nuoc cham (Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce), for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat 12 cup of sugar in a 1-qt. heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling pan often, until sugar dissolves and turns to liquid caramel. Remove from heat; add 14 cup boiling water. Return pan to heat; cook, swirling pan gently, until caramel dissolves in water. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a food processor along with remaining sugar, shallots, lemongrass, oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, pepper, and garlic; purée until smooth. Place pork chops in a 9″ × 13″ baking dish and pour over purée; cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat a 12″ cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Working in batches, add chops; cook, turning once, until charred in spots and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with rice and nuoc cham.

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