Vietnamese Grilled Pork – Thịt Nướng

Next to Phở, Thịt Nướng is probably one of the most popular dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. Available in every Vietnamese restaurant, Cơm Thịt Nướng – served with rice, cucumbers and tomatoes. Also popular as Bún Thịt Nướng – with vermicelli rice noodles, fresh lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikon, peanuts and fish sauce. Yum! 

Thịt Nướng translates to Grilled Meat. It’s generally grilled directly or thread through skewers. Though a nonstick skillet, cast iron pan, or a wok are all great ways to cook this tender, delicious dish.

There are different versions out there and this is my version, inspired by my aunt’s recipe. I highly recommend doubling this recipe, super easy and almost effortless for something so yummy. Freeze half to cook another day and turn it into multiple meals; Bún Thịt Nướng, Gỏi cuốn-fresh spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or homemade Bánh Mì. We often enjoy ours with jasmine rice, sliced tomatoes, chopped carrots and cucumbers. Simple and tasty. Tips on how to prepare other variations are coming soon! Bon Appetit!  

Vietnamese Grilled Pork – Thịt Nướng

Servings: 4 – 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 – 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb pork shoulder or country style ribs
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • any oil for cooking 

Topping 

  • 3 stems green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oil – olive oil or any cooking oil
  • pinch of salt 

Preparation

Finely chop/mince or use food chopper/processor to chop garlic and  shallots. Set aside.

Slice meat lengthwise into thin slices, about ¼ inch, similar to bacon but not as thin as prosciutto. Put sliced meat into a  large bowl or gallon ziplock bag. Add garlic, shallots, remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Cover bowl/seal ziplock and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, overnight preferred. 

Grill on medium high heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. 

Or in a wok/ large nonstick skillet, add 1-2 teaspoons cooking oil and bring heat to medium high for about a minute to get the wok hot, but not smoky. Add pork in batches, leave about 1 inch space in between each piece to avoid overcrowding and cook for about 3 minutes each side*. (2 batches with my 13 inch wok)

Topping: In the same wok/skillet, use spatula to discard drippings or any burnt pieces and add 1 teaspoon of oil.  Reduce heat to medium, add chopped green onions, pinch of salt, stir and cook for about a minute. Pour topping over pork, served warm with jasmine rice and side of choice.

Recipe Notes

  • Stove top temperature may vary, especially with nonstick skillet. Wok works great on medium high heat but too hot on skillet. Test it out by turning the heat down to medium and increase to medium high if needed. Scrape off any burnt debris before starting the next batch also prevents from burning. 
  • When using wok/skillet, stir the meat to gently rub off the juice from the pan before turning over to cook the other side. When the 2nd side is done, give the meat a quick toss to gather the juice before starting the next batch. This will keep a nice caramelized flavor with the meat.  Wipe off any burnt pieces, add a teaspoon of oil if needed and repeat the process.
  • Try another version: add 1-2 tablespoons of minced lemongrass to the marinade. This changes the flavor but very tasty. I recommend trying both versions separately to compare and keeping it separate also gives you another yummy option to your everyday meal.  

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