Pan Seared/Grilled Sweet and Savory Pork Chop

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Summer is all about grilling. Marinating meat and then searing it over high heat locks in the tenderness and flavor. These pork chops are marinated in brown sugar and fish sauce, the mother sauce of Southeast Asian cuisine. Fish sauce smells a bit funky, it’s true, and just a little goes a long way, but the taste it imparts to food, and the way it blends with other flavors is unmatched. The combination of savory, sweet, lemongrass and tangy lime is incredible. I pan-seared the pork in a cast-iron pan, but you can also grill these pork chops over hot coals. Serve these chops with light salad or rice, and some crisp white wine.


Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time:  10 – 15  mins plus 30 mins for marinating
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 4
Course: main course, lunch, dinner

  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, chopped
  • 1 small Thai chili, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • half of one lime, juiced
  • half of one lime, quarted
  • 4 center cut pork chops with or without bones
  1. Combine the first eight ingredients in a medium mixing bowl or a shallow dish. Stir to dissolve.
  2. Add the pork chops to the dish and marinate for 30 mins.
  3. To pan-sear the pork:Heat up a cast-iron pan, drizzle some olive oil. Cook the pork chops for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked. Remove the pork from the pan and let it rest for 5 mins.
    • While the pork is resting. add the remaining marinate to the pan, use a wooden spatula to scrape of the good stuff on the bottom of the pan. Boil over low-medium heat and simmer until the sauce is reduce to about 1/4 cup, about 5 mins
  4. To grill the pork:Prepare the grill and grill the pork chops about 5 – 6 mins on each side.
    • While the pork is cooking,  Add the remaining marinate a sauce pan, and bring it to a boil. Boil over low-medium heat and simmer until the sauce is reduce to about 1/4 cup, about 5 mins.
  5. Plate the chops, drizzle the sauce over the pork and serve it with lime wedges, rice and side salad.

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