My husband says these sous vide Vietnamese pork chops are the best pork chops he’s ever eaten. Period. Tons of flavor, moist and tender. His words. He’s clearly been watching too many cooking shows with me :).
I’m pretty sure he thought my Sous Vide Pork Chops with Apple Chutney were pretty amazing too, but I’ll take it. They’re actually both great. The fact is, the sous vide cooking method is simply fantastic for pork chops. Never dry, always juicy and soft. Add some great seasonings, marinade or topping and they are pretty much a guaranteed winner. We even scarfed down the leftovers, cold, the next day, standing over the counter – fabulous.
I used the same marinade as our Grilled Vietnamese Chicken which I love. It’s a delicious blend of soy, brown sugar, lime, garlic, chili flakes, ginger, cilantro and fish sauce. The flavor is hard to describe – sort of earthy, tangy, slightly sweet and salty with a bit of heat.
I used bone-in 1 1/4 inch thick pork chops for this recipe and cooked them at 142F for 2.5 hours. Thinner chops e.g. 3/4 inch, will work fine too. Experts say anywhere from 1-4 hours will achieve the results you want, but I find closer to 2 hours – or even a bit more for thick ones – make the chops more tender.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Vary the heat level to your liking with more or less chili flakes. The recipe is low-medium spice.
- No grill? I’ve included broiling instructions in the recipe.
- Substitute parsley for cilantro if you don’t like the distinct flavor of cilantro.
- If you can’t eat fish sauce for dietary reasons or don’t like it, here are some alternatives:
- You can use a favorite store bought marinade if you like.
- Frozen ginger, cilantro and garlic cubes can be substituted for fresh. Jar versions are fine too.
Make Ahead Vietnamese Pork Chops
- The marinade can be made a day or two ahead. You can also marinate the pork chops for several hours or a day ahead.
- Also remember that you have a good amount of leeway – an extra couple of hours – for the sous vide cooking process
Vietnamese Pork Chops (Sous Vide)
- 4 bone-in rib pork chops, about 2.5-3 lbs 1-1 1/2 inches thick
- salt, pepper, garlic powder
Marinade for Sous Vide
- 3 tbsp neutral olive oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium is fine)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (honey or maple syrup ok too)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce Note 1
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger (or 1/8 tsp powder ginger)
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Add to marinade to make glaze for final step
- 3 tbsp lime juice 1 large lime or 2 smaller
- 2 tsp minced or grated garlic
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- HEAT SOUS VIDE BATH: Heat sous vide water to 142F.
- MAKE MARINADE: Combine all marinade ingredients in glass measuring cup (not including fresh garlic, lime juice and cornstarch). Marinade will measure about 1/2 cup. You will use 1/4 cup (half of it) to add to the pork chops to sous vide cook; the other half for grilling/broiling.
- PREPARE PORK CHOPS: Season pork chops on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in large zipper lock bag (or in two medium ones). Pour in half of the marinade (1/4 cup). Massage to distribute evenly. Reserve remaining marinade to make glaze.
- COOK SOUS VIDE: Place unzipped bag of pork chops into water until top of bag is just above water line. Air will be pushed out. Then zip up bag. Let bag go - it should sink below water line. Cover (if using an oven-type sous vide machine) or follow manufacturer's instructions. Cook for 1.5-4 hours (I cook thick chops for 2.5 hours or thinner ones for 1.5-2 hrs).
- MAKE GLAZE: While chops are cooking sous vide, add lime juice, minced garlic and cornstarch to remaining marinade. Stir well to combine. Microwave for 45-60 seconds to thicken glaze. If too thick, add a touch of water.
- FINISH PORK CHOPS: Heat grill to high (~500-550F). Remove chops from bag. Pat dry with paper towel. Brush glaze on both sides and edge of chops. Leave 1 tablespoon for serving. Note 2 to broil. Spray with oil to prevent sticking. Grill chops for 40-60 seconds per side to create grill marks. Brush the remaining tablespoon on the top side of chops. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired and serve.
- Alternatives to Fish Sauce: If you can't eat fish sauce for dietary reasons or don't like it, here are some alternatives:
- To broil instead of grill: Heat broiler, placing oven grate to 6 inches from top of oven. Place chops on grate set over foil lined pan. Broil for a minute or so on each side until glaze is bubbly and some char marks begin to appear. Don't cook too long.
- To make ahead:
- The marinade can be made a day or two ahead. You can also marinate the pork chops for several hours or even a day ahead.
- Also remember that you have a good amount of leeway - an extra couple of hours - for the sous vide cooking process. In other words, you can start them up to 4 hours ahead of serving time.
If you like the Vietnamese Pork Chops (sous vide), please rate them in the recipe (in the stars under “rate this recipe here”) and leave us a comment.
Other sous vide pork recipes you might like: