Vietnamese Grilled Pork Steaks

Top view of plate with two grilled pork steaks and bowl with nuoc cham sauce.

5 from 1 review

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! 



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
  • ½1 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).



  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Gluten-free: This recipe is gluten-free, but double check the ingredients on your fish sauce to ensure it is GF certified.
  7. 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.


Keywords: vietnamese grilled pork chop, vietnamese grilled pork, grilled pork steaks