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
2Combine 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.
3Remove the pork from the marinade and discard ! *Be safe don't use the raw pork marinade ! *
4When 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
5You 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.
6I 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 !
7Trouble 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 !