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Recipe from: Marcia Kiesel
"I love the way the Vietnamese grill pork chops," says Marcia Kiesel, who co-authored The Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking with chef Binh Duong. "They pound the chops thin for maximum exposure to the heat and then marinate them in a sweet-and-salty sauce that caramelizes as quickly as the pork chops cook on the grill."
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Asian fish sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium shallots, minced
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
8 thin, center-cut pork loin chops on the bone — about 6 ounces each
¼ cup chopped salted peanuts
In a large bowl, combine the vegetable oil with the honey, fish sauce, garlic, shallots and pepper. Add the pork chops, turn to coat thoroughly with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.
Light a grill. Lightly season the pork chops with salt. Brush the grill with oil and cook the pork chops over very high heat until nicely charred and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Scatter the peanuts on top and serve right away with Jasmine Rice with carrot Relish.
Jasmine Rice with carrot Relish
This quick side dish is a combination of fragrant jasmine rice and a carrot salad. It's topped with a version of the Vietnamese dipping sauce nước chấm, which flavors the carrots and moistens the rice.
⅔ cup jasmine rice, rinsed
1 ⅓ cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 ½ teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 garlic clove, minced
½ Thai chile, minced
4 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
In a small saucepan, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 12 minutes. Quickly remove the lid and wipe off any water that clings to it. Immediately recover the rice and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and cover.
In a bowl, combine the lime juice with the vegetable oil, fish sauce, honey, mint, garlic and chile. Add the carrots and toss to coat with the nước chấm sauce. Serve the carrot relish on the rice.