This recipe is pretty much straight out of Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist Cooks Dinner”- I tweaked it a bit to punch up the flavor, and reduced the honey because of it’s tendency to burn on the grill. This dish is highly aromatic and characteristic of Southeast Asia- and it so darn simple to make. We love lemon grass and all the flavors of Vietnamese cooking, try it, you will fall in love !
juice of 2 or 3 limes- depending on size- you want about 1/3 cup juice
1 t fresh ground pepper
2T chopped mint, thai basil, and cilantro- equal parts
4 country style pork chops- or the chops of your choice
Combine the lime juice, honey, garlic, nuoc man, and lemongrass in a shallow dish(* reserve 1/2 cup for later) that will accommodate the pork in a single layer. Marinate the pork while you get the grill started.
Remove the pork from the marinade and discard ! *Be safe don't use the raw pork marinade ! *
When the grill is moderately hot (use the hand test of 4-5 seconds of tolerance a few inches from the heat) grill the pork for about 10 minutes ( for 1” chops) turning only once- thinner chops require less cooking time. An instant read thermometer should be about 155 degrees
You want the meat to be slightly pink -and still juicy. Watch carefully- so not to burn- and move to a cooler part of the grill if necessary. When done, and while the meat rests for a few minutes you can heat up the *reserved marinade and boil on high until it is reduced and thickened some. Spoon the juices over the pork and sprinkle the fresh herbs. Serve with lime wedges.
I serve mine over a bed of asian steamed rice and a side of stir fried bok choy, asparagus, water chestnuts and baby corn with a little stir fry sauce mixed in. This is soooo good, it is a family favorite !
Trouble finding the right herbs? In some markets you can find the lemon grass in a tube in the produce section. The mint, cilantro and Thai basil can usually also be found in a clear hanging package in the produce section. If you cannot find fresh you may use dried but try finding the fresh, so much better ! (You can sub. regular basil for Thai Basil, the TB is a little stronger and a little bit spicier than regular basil. * You can also check out your local stores that carry bedding plants, many will have these in stock. I have a huge herb bed and grow all of these items because we use them in so many things. Here is a picture of my herb garden !