serves 4                                      

This recipe is pretty much straight out of Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist Cooks Dinner”- I tweaked it a bit to punch up the flavor, and reduced the honey because of it’s tendency to burn on the grill. This dish is highly aromatic and characteristic of Southeast Asia- and it so darn simple to make.

2 T fresh lemon grass*

4 cloves garlic minced

1 T honey

2 T  nuoc man* *( you can substitute soy sauce)

juice of 2 or 3 limes- depending on size- you want about 1/3 cup juice

1 t fresh ground pepper

2T chopped mint, thai basil, and cilantro- equal parts

4 country style pork chops- or the chops of your choice

Combine the lime juice, honey, garlic, nuoc man, and lemongrass in a shallow dish that will accommodate the pork in a single layer. Marinate the pork while you get the grill started.

Remove the pork from the marinade. Pour the marinade through a strainer into a small saucepan.

When the grill is moderately hot (use the hand test of 4-5 seconds of tolerance a few inches from the heat)  grill the pork for about 10 minutes ( for 1” chops)  turning only once- thinner chops require less cooking time. An instant read thermometer should be about 155 degrees.

You want the meat to be slightly pink -and still juicy.  Watch carefully- so not to burn- and move to a cooler part of the grill if necessary.  When done, and while the meat rests for a few minutes you can heat up the reserved marinade and boil on high until it is reduced and thickened some. Spoon the juices over the pork  and sprinkle the fresh herbs. Serve with with lime wedges.

* If using fresh lemongrass peel as you would a scallion. You might have to do a fair amount of peeling to get to the tender inner core- the part you want to use. One stalk will yield about a tablespoon of minced lemon grass. I do like the lemongrass in a tube(above) found in a lot of markets refrigerated in the produce section. It freezes well. It’s got some additives- but it makes this easy recipe even quicker and i find it very acceptable in my humble opinion.

** nuoc man is a Vietnamese fish sauce found in most markets in the Asian food section- if not- try an Southeast Asian speciality market. You can substitute soy- but the nuoc man really gives this dish that extra punch of Southeast flavor                                                                                                   


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