Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks
These Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks are easy to make, and incredibly juicy and flavorful! Pork steaks are marinated with fresh Asian aromatics, sauces, and seasonings, then are grilled until perfectly charred on the outside and juicy on the inside! Feel free to use pork chops or cutlets instead of pork steaks.
It’s finally June, friends! Which means summer grilling and BBQ season has commenced! 🥳
Today, I’ve got a tasty and easy Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks recipe for you. It’s super easy to make, and so darn juicy and delicious! 😋
All you need is a handful of fresh Asian aromatics, sauces, a few seasonings, and you’ll be on your way to making some EPIC grilled pork steaks that everyone is sure to love!
Since I don’t have an outdoor BBQ grill, I grilled the pork steaks on a grill pan on the stovetop. You’re welcome to grill them on the BBQ grill and can even pan-sear them in a cast-iron skillet if you like.
I’ve included a simple nuoc cham sauce recipe that you can use as a dipping sauce or dressing for these delicious grilled pork steaks. It’s full of perfectly balanced sour, salty, sweet, and spicy flavors, and it pairs incredibly well with the grilled pork.
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s quick and easy to make. The pork steaks don’t need a lengthy brining, marinating, or cooking time, but it still turns out wonderfully juicy and delicious!
- The nuoc cham dipping sauce is sour, salty, sweet, spicy, and super addictive! It pairs so perfectly well with the Vietnamese grilled pork steaks.
- Seasoning the pork steaks with salt not only helps to flavor it, but it also tenderizes the meat.
- It can be served as an appetizer with the nuoc cham sauce for dipping, or enjoyed as a main with the sauce poured on top and with salad and steamed rice on the side.
- You can cook it on a grill-pan/griddle or cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, or on the BBQ grill.
- Pork: I used boneless porterhouse pork steaks, but you’re welcome to use pork chops or cutlets instead.
- Kosher Salt: To season the pork and also to help tenderize it.
- Lemongrass stalks: If fresh lemongrass is not easily available to you, substitute with two tablespoons of lemongrass paste instead. You can usually find lemongrass paste in the fridge section of a well-stocked supermarket.
- Red Chilies: I used Bird’s Eye, but any small hot red chilies will work.
- Ground Cayenne (optional): Although not traditionally used, I like to add a little more spice to the pork and use some ground cayenne in the marinade. You can leave it out if you prefer.
- Lime: For freshly squeezed lime juice. Avoid using the store-bought pre-squeezed juice. Fresh lime juice will give you the best flavor.
- Canola Oil: For cooking. Feel free to use any other neutral flavored cooking oil with a high smoke point.
- To Serve: Chopped coriander, nuoc cham dipping sauce (recipe included in the recipe card below), cucumber slices, steamed rice (optional)
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks
1. Season the pork. Clean and pat-dry the pork steaks. If they are thick steaks, use a meat mallet to pound them into ½-inch thick pieces. Transfer to a plate and season both sides with kosher salt. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
2. Marinate the pork. Pound finely chopped lemongrass, red chilies, and garlic into a fine paste using a mortar and pestle (or use a small blender). Stir in the sauces, seasonings, and lime juice until combined well. Add the pork steaks to a bowl then spoon the marinade on top. Turn to coat, then cover and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Make the Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce. Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Then cover and set aside until ready to serve.
4. Grill the pork steaks. Heat a cast-iron skillet or nonstick grill pan/griddle over medium-high heat and brush with the canola oil. Scrape most of the marinade off the pork steaks and place them on the pan. Cook for a few minutes, turning frequently, until slightly charred. Then lower the heat and lightly brush the pork with some of the reserved marinade. Continue cooking for a few more minutes, turning frequently. Once the pork has reached your desired doneness and has cooked through, switch off the heat.
5. Rest and slice. Transfer to a clean plate and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
6. Serve! Place the sliced grilled pork steaks on a serving plate and pour the resting juices on top. Garnish with chopped coriander, and serve immediately with the nuoc cham dipping sauce, cucumber slices, and steamed rice if desired!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Marinate longer for more flavor. Although not absolutely necessary since the flavors in the marinade are very strong, you can marinate the pork for 3-4 hours or overnight in the fridge if you plan in advance for more flavor.
- Leave the fat on for more flavor. Don’t cut off and discard the fatty part on the side of the steaks! They’ll help keep your pork juicy and moist during cooking, and make them more flavorful.
- Make sure the heat is not too high. Fresh aromatics in the marinade will tend to burn if the heat is too high, so lower the heat as necessary and if needed while cooking the steaks.
- Turn on the exhaust fan and open a window if you have a small kitchen. Grilling indoors can be smoky business, especially in small indoor areas. This will prevent your house from becoming all smoky as the pork cooks.
- Finely pound the ingredients in the mortar and pestle. You want the marinade to be as fine as possible to flavor the pork, and not be too chunky so that it doesn’t burn too much while grilling the steaks.
Pork sometimes is still a little pink on the inside even if it’s cooked through. According to the USDA, as long as the pork chop or steak has reached an internal temperature of 145°F/63°C, it is safe to eat. You can use a meat thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the pork to check the temperature. Keep in mind that the temperature will go up about 5 degrees while it’s resting, so you can take it off the grill pan/griddle or grill when the temperature reaches 140°F/60°C.
The vinegar helps to tenderize the pork and brings out all the flavors. It also prevents the pork from drying out during cooking.
More Summer Grilling Recipes
- Tikka Masala Pork Ribs
- Chicken Shish Kebab Rolls
- Spicy Grilled Asian-Cajun Chicken Skewers
- Loaded Street Corn Salad with Manchego
- Or browse the entire Grilled and Summer recipe collections.
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Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks
These Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks are easy to make, and incredibly juicy and flavorful! Pork steaks are marinated briefly, then grilled to charry outside and juicy inside perfection!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Inactive Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- Diet: Gluten Free
For the Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks:
- 2 Porterhouse Pork Steaks, boneless (about 400 grams / 14 ounces, ½-inch thick pieces) – cleaned and pat-dried (see notes for using other pork cuts)*
- ¾ TSP Kosher Salt
- 2 Lemongrass stalks – (or substitute with 2 TBLS Lemongrass Paste) – Bottom woody part and upper tough part chopped off, outer layers removed and discarded, then sliced lengthwise through the middle and finely minced
- 2 Red Chilies (I used Bird’s Eye, but any small hot red chilies will work) – finely chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves – roughly chopped
- 2 TSP Fish Sauce
- ½ TSP Distilled White Vinegar
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
- ½ TSP White Sugar
- ½ – 1 TSP ground Cayenne (optional), to taste
- 2 TSP freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- 2 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other neutral flavored cooking oil with a high smoke point)
- To Serve: Chopped coriander, nuoc cham dipping sauce (recipe below), cucumber slices, steamed rice (optional)
Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
- 1.75 TBLS freshly squeezed Lime Juice (about the juice of 1 lime)
- 1.5 TBLS Fish Sauce
- 1 TBLS Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 TBLS White Sugar
- 1 TBLS Hot Water
- 1 Red Chili (I used Bird’s Eye, but you could use a mild long spur red chili if preferred) – finely chopped
- 1 Garlic clove – finely minced
- Season the pork: Clean the pork steaks and pat-dry with paper towels. If they are thick steaks, place them in between two sheets of cling wrap on a cutting board and use a meat mallet to gently and evenly pound them into ½-inch thick pieces. Transfer to a plate and season both sides with the kosher salt. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
- Marinate the pork: Finely chop the lemongrass and Bird’s Eye red chilies, and roughly chop the garlic. Pound into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle (or use a mini blender). Stir in the fish sauce, vinegar, ground white pepper, white sugar, ground cayenne, and lime juice until combined well. Place the pork steaks in a medium-sized mixing bowl then spoon the marinade on top. Mix to coat, then cover the bowl with cling wrap (or a plate) and allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Note: If you have time and have planned in advance, you can place the bowl in the fridge to marinate for 3-4 hours, or overnight for more flavor. Remove from the fridge 40-60 minutes before you plan to cook to take the chill off.)
- Make the Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce: Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, white sugar, and hot water in a small bowl. Finely chop the red chili and garlic, then stir both into the sauce. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
- Grill the pork steaks: Heat a cast-iron or nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with the canola oil. Once hot, scrape most of the marinade off the pork steaks and place them on the pan (reserve the marinade). Cook for about 3 minutes, turning the pork steaks every 30-45 seconds, until slightly charred. Then turn the heat down to medium-low and lightly brush the pork with some of the reserved marinade. Continue cooking for 4-5 minutes, turning frequently. Use tongs to hold the steaks up and sear the fatty edge parts for 30-45 seconds. Once the pork has reached your desired doneness and has cooked through, switch off the heat.
- Rest and slice: Transfer the pork steaks to a clean plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then place on a cutting board and slice into ¼-inch thick slices.
- To Serve: Transfer the pork to a serving plate and pour the resting juices on top. Garnish with chopped coriander, and serve immediately with the nuoc cham dipping sauce, cucumber slices, and steamed rice (optional).
- Pork cut. I used boneless pork porterhouse steaks, which is a combination of top loin and tenderloin meat and are also known as loin chops. But you can use pork cutlets or pork chops (bone-in or boneless) instead if you like. Cook time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the pork cut.
- Ground cayenne: Although not traditionally used, I like to add a little more spice to the pork and use some ground cayenne in the marinade. You can leave it out if you prefer.
- Red chilies: It doesn’t make the pork super spicy since most of the marinade is scraped off before cooking, but you can use 1 chili only or omit them if you are averse to anything spicy.
- To cook on the grill: Preheat grill too medium high. Brush canola or vegetable oil on the grill grates. Grill for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently, until the pork is charred on the outside and the center has cooked through or to your liking. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then slice and serve.
- To cook in a skillet: Heat canola or vegetable oil in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Once hot, add the pork and sear for a minute, then flip and sear the other side for another minute. Continue cooking for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently, until the pork is charred on the outside and cooked through or to your liking. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then slice and serve.
- Gluten-free: This recipe is gluten-free, but double check the ingredients on your fish sauce to ensure it is GF certified.
- Nutritional information. Nutritional information provided is only for the pork steaks and nuoc cham dipping sauce, and not for the optional coriander garnish, cucumber slices, and steamed rice for serving.
- Serving Size: 1/2 a pork steak
- Calories: 267
- Sugar: 6.1g
- Sodium: 1276.5mg
- Fat: 11.3g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 9.0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 9.5g
- Fiber: 0.8g
- Protein: 24g
- Cholesterol: 63mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.