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Vietnamese Pork Chop
with spicy pickled cucumbers / asparagus / ginger rice

Active: 30 min Total: 50 min

Vietnamese flavors are folded into all the layers of this meal, including the marinade, rice, and spicy pickled cucumbers served on top.
Smarts: The pickled cucumbers in this meal are a salsa-meets-sauce topping. Be sure to dice the cucumbers small so you get some in every bite. You can make it ahead of time (including adding the peanuts which will also get “pickled”) or make it right before serving for a more crunchy, fresh texture.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Vietnamese Pork Chop and Asparagus:
  • Asparagus - 1 bunch, trimmed
  • Lemongrass - 2 stalks, finely chopped
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
  • Fish sauce - 1 Tbsp
  • Pork chops, boneless or bone-in - 4
Spicy Pickled Cucumbers and Peanuts:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz, finely chopped (preferably English or other seedless cucumbers)
  • Mint - 1 Tbsp, chopped
  • Fish sauce - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 2 tsp
  • Chili-garlic sauce - 1 1/2 tsp, more to taste
  • Sugar - 2 tsp
  • Peanuts - 1/3 cup
Ginger Rice:
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
  • Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp, grated
  • Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  1. Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Asparagus / Lemongrass / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Marinate pork - (If prepping right before cooking, get grill heating while pork is marinating.) Combine lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, first portion of cooking oil, brown sugar, and fish sauce (portion for pork) with pork chops. Turn to coat and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Ginger / Cucumbers / Mint - Prep as directed.
  5. Make pickled cucumbers - Combine cucumbers, mint, fish sauce (portion for cucumbers), vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, and white sugar. Stir in peanuts (if you want them to have more crunch, you can wait to add them until right before serving). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

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Make

  1. Heat up grill to 450F / 232C, keeping one part over direct heat and one part over indirect heat. Clean grates and brush with second portion of cooking oil.
  2. Remove pork chops from marinade (discard marinade) and season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
  3. Add pork chops and asparagus spears to heated grill. Cook, turning to sear on all sides, until both pork and asparagus are golden brown. Transfer to indirect heat and continue cooking with the lid closed until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees and asparagus spears are tender. (If using thin asparagus spears, they may be tender after cooking over direct heat, but thicker spears may take a few extra minutes.)
  4. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. (You can slice the pork chops or leave them whole for serving.)
  5. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. Stir in ginger and toasted sesame oil. Season with some salt or soy sauce (not in ingredients list) if you’d like.
  6. Serve pork chops over ginger rice with pickled cucumbers on top. Enjoy asparagus on the side.

Prep

  1. Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Asparagus / Lemongrass / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Marinate pork - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating while pork is marinating.) Combine lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, first portion of cooking oil, brown sugar, and fish sauce (portion for pork) with pork chops. Turn to coat and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Ginger / Cucumbers / Mint - Prep as directed.
  5. Make pickled cucumbers - Combine cucumbers, mint, fish sauce (portion for cucumbers), vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, and white sugar. Stir in peanuts (if you want them to have more crunch, you can wait to add them until right before serving). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

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Make

  1. Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
  2. Spread asparagus out on a sheet pan. Toss with some cooking oil and season with some salt and pepper. Roast asparagus until tender, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
  3. Remove pork chops from marinade (discard marinade) and season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a large skillet or grill pan with second portion of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to heated oil and sear on both sides. Reduce heat to low-medium and continue cooking until pork reaches 145F / 63C, 2 to 3 minutes for thin pork chops or 5 to 6 minutes for thicker cuts.
  5. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. (You can slice the pork chops or leave them whole for serving.)
  6. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. Stir in ginger and toasted sesame oil. Season with some salt or soy sauce (not in ingredients list) if you’d like.
  7. Serve pork chops over ginger rice with pickled cucumbers on top. Enjoy asparagus on the side.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (46)
Gluten-free (4)
Paleo (3)
Vegetarian (13)

37 reviews

Very good. I made original version and a vegetarian version. Both came out really good. For vegetarian I used portabella mushrooms instead of pork chops and marinated then the same as the pork.

By: Glendalis
Posted: Oct 28, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was awesome! The flavor was so good and caught us so off guard. I went ready on the finger in the rice and I should not have. This meal packs a ton of flavor and you need to reload all of it. Oh, and go easy on the Chili-garlic. 1.5 tsp is too much for the cucumbers

By: Tawn
Posted: Oct 14, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Excellent, this is SO SO SO good. The pickled cucumbers and its juice IS AWESOME, especially on rice. The pork marinade was also awesome, and glad we took the time to use the BBQ. Top 5 for us.

By: Kristine
Posted: Oct 14, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I loved this meal and I could eat that ginger rice every day.

By: Leila
Posted: Oct 11, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Liked the ginger rice and tofu. Loved the pickles

By: Jennifer
Posted: Oct 09, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Can I marry this rice? The pickles were great, too!

By: Jackie
Posted: Oct 09, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful