Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa)

Bring this simple and easy dish to your table! It is full of wonderful Vietnamese flavors!

Photo by Allison of

Pork is an essential protein in Vietnamese cuisine. Thus, Lemongrass Pork Chops or Thit Heo Nuong Xa is a very popular dish in Vietnam. This dish is not just the pork chop though. It is an assembly of pork, fresh vegetables, fermented sauces and vegetables, and rice. All the flavors and textures come together. The fresh cucumber and lettuce are balanced by the pickled daikon radish and carrots. While the salty nuoc mam complements the sweet lemongrass pork. The bed of rice is a neutral flavor that cleanses the palate.

I have been eating lemongrass pork for as long as I can remember. Growing up it was one of my favorite rice dishes to order from Vietnamese restaurants. We also ate a lot of lemongrass pork at home. My father would make it at summer barbecue parties all the time when I was young. He would stand on our back deck or my grandmother’s back deck, surrounded by my uncles, and the smell of charcoal and grilled pork would fill the air. The smell made all of our mouth’s water. We always wondered what was in his recipe because he never seemed to measure the ingredients. Just a dash of this and a pinch of that. Recently he was gracious enough to measure out the marinade ingredients and I scaled it back for to accommodate for smaller servings. I am happy to share my version of this family recipe to Culinary Cupcake. Please enjoy!

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa) Recipe

Yields 4 servings

Prep Time 15 minutes            

Inactive Time 30 minutes to 3 hours                       

Cook Time 6 minutes

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Lager

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Chardonnay


2 pounds bone in pork chops (4 chops), about ½ inch thick


4 tablespoons lemongrass, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons shallot, minced

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon black pepper

To Serve:

Nuoc Mam* (recipe below)

Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrots





Cut slits into the edges of the pork chops to keep them from curling when they are cooked.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl or sealable bag. Add the pork chops and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes but it could be as long as three hours.

Heat up grill or frying pan to medium heat. Shake off any excess marinade. Cook pork chops for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve hot with rice, Nuoc Mam, pickled daikon radish and carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers.

This recipe also works for boneless pork chops, but be aware they may cook faster. The best way to use boneless pork chops for this recipe would be to make kabobs using the marinade.

*Nuoc Cham Recipe

Yields 1 cup

Prep Time 3 minutes

Active Time 1 minute


3 tablespoons of sugar

6 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

2/3 cup warm water

1 clove of garlic, minced

Optional garnishes: 1 tablespoon carrots, shredded, or 2 chili peppers, sliced


Add all the ingredients into a jar and mix together until well incorporated.

If using right away pour some of the liquid into a sauce dish and garnish to preference.

If not using right away, put lid on the jar. The nuoc cham will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks.


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3 thoughts on “Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa)

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