Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops

Mr. Lemon and I are not vegetarians, or accidental vegetarians, or even flexitarians. If anything, we've become thrift-arians. That means when there's a nice "deal" in the meat aisle, as long as it's lean, we hit it.

Pork chops were on sale at the grocery around the corner and after all our CSA-inspired veggie dinners and lean chicken dishes and all-around healthy habits, it was time to indulge in some pig.

I've tried making pork chops pretty much every which way, and I always find them a bit dry compared to other cuts. The only time I've ever been blown away was by the chops from Asia Grill, back in the old neighborhood. Succulent, great sear on the outside and thin enough that the chops never became dry on the inside, they were a big part of my order-in rotation. Looking at my two big flat chops, I knew what I had to do.

Putting my fingers to the keyboard, I found Josh Friedland had covered Vietnamese pork chops on his great blog The Food Section. Of course, I didn't have all the ingredients, so this is adapted from his recipe.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops

2-4 pork chops, thin
2 Tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice

Combine the fish sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic and lime juice in a shallow bowl. Add the pork chops and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

Grill chops over direct heat, spooning extra marinade over the chops, until chops are cooked and white inside. They will go pretty fast depending on your fire. Ours took about 12 minutes.

Succulent thin chops are a small but satisfying treat
This thriftarian special came in under $3
"Pantry" staples make this a quick and easy marinade

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