Tender Vietnamese pork chops marinated with fresh citrusy lemongrass, mellow garlic, caramelized shallots, and fish sauce served over a bed of broken rice. Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and can make a great addition to your meal plan.
What is Vietnamese pork chops over rice?
Vietnamese pork chops over rice (com tam suon) is a well-known dish made up of marinated pork. It is accompanied by a bed of steamed broken rice, pickled vegetables, and a generous portion of Vietnamese Dipping Sauce. The marinade used for the pork typically includes ingredients such as fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic. The pork is then cooked until it is grilled or roasted until slightly charred for a smoky flavor. In Vietnam, com tam is a comfort food and can be easily found at street stalls and family-run restaurants. It’s a very filling meal that can be enjoyed at any time of day and is considered a staple in Vietnamese cuisine.
What is broken rice?
Broken rice is a type of jasmine rice that has been broken into fragments during the milling process. It is typically cheaper than whole grain rice since it is considered less appealing. You may use it in a variety of dishes, especially in Asian cuisine. The rice, serves as the foundation for this dish and is very fragrant.
What is fish sauce?
Fish sauce (nuoc mam) is a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine and is known for its dark brown, clear appearance. This fermented liquid seasoning is made from fish and is characterized by its strong, pungent aroma. It has a distinct taste that is a blend of sweet, salty, and slightly briny flavors.
How do I buy fish sauce?
With many different brands available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right nuoc mam. However, my Southeast Asian grandmother prefers the Three Crabs Brand pictured below which is reputable. Please note that there may be brands that have very similar names that are of poorer quality. If a reputable brand that you recognize is unavailable to you, consider the following:
- Read the ingredients: Look for a high percentage of anchovy extract and salt, as this is an indication of high quality. Some lower-quality fish sauces contain added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
- Consider the color: Fish sauce should be amber-brown in color and relatively clear. If the sauce is very dark, it may indicate over-processing or the addition of caramel color.
- Choose a reputable brand: Look for well-established brands with a proven track record of producing high-quality fish sauce. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family who have used fish sauce before.
How is fish sauce used?
In cooking, fish sauce is used to add saltiness and a rich umami flavor to dishes. It is commonly used as a seasoning in pho broth, as a dipping sauce in Vietnam, in marinades and sauces for Thai cuisine, and to enhance the flavor of various dishes.
Vietnamese Pork Chops
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemongrass, peeled, diced, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, trimmed, peeled, minced
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 pieces pork chops, tenderized to 1/2 inch thick
- 4 tbsp neutral oil
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into coins
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1/2 cup Vietnamese dipping sauce (recipe linked below in Notes)
- 2 whole large eggs, fried
- 2 cups jasmine rice or broken rice
- 4 scallions, trimmed, green section julienned
- Marinade | Add chicken bouillon powder, sugar, lemongrass, minced garlic, minced shallots, fish sauce, and oyster sauce into a bowl and mix. Mix the marinade and pork chops onto a zip lock bag. Marinate for at least 6 hours.
- Pork Chops | Set a skillet over the stove on medium high heat. Add oil and let it heat up until it’s glistening. Add in the pork chops, discarding the remaining marinade. Sear the pork with the lid partially uncovered on both sides until golden brown, 3 mins. Resist the urge to jostle it around to foster a nicely browned crust. Plate.
- Assemble | Add rice, sliced cucumbers, tomato slices, and serve with dipping sauce. Enjoy hot!