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Best Sous Vide Pork Chops (Vietnamese-style)

The sous vide cooking method is simply fantastic for pork chops. It keeps them moist and juicy and tender.

The Vietnamese marinade and glaze takes them over the top with umami, sweet, salty flavors. So good.

My husband says these pork chops are the best 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 admit I love them too. We scarfed down the leftovers, cold, the next day, standing over the counter. Fabulous.

If you like Vietnamese food or just want to try something new and delicious, give this sous vide Vietnamese pork chop recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed.

The marinade and glaze make the dish

The sous vide pork chops marinade I use is from our Grilled Vietnamese Chicken. It’s a delicious blend of soy, brown sugar, lime, garlic, chili flakes, ginger, cilantro and fish sauce.

The flavor is sort of earthy, tangy, slightly sweet and salty with a bit of heat.

I marinate the chops without the lime and garlic as these ingredients do not do well in sous vide cooking. I add them along with with cornstarch to the unused marinade, turning the marinade into a finishing glaze.

Sous vide temperature and time

See the recipe notes to help determine the specific times and temperatures for the doneness you prefer. It is always good to experiment to find your sweet spot.

Here is a general guideline:

  • The temperature will determine the doneness of the meat (rare, medium rare, medium, etc). Lower temps = less done. My preference for these pork chops is 142F/61C
  • Thickness of the chops (not weight) determines the timing and tenderness
    • Thicker chops will take longer to become tender (so need more time).
    • A longer cook time will make the pork chops more tender but, at a certain point, less juicy.
  • The general recommendation for pork chops is 1-4 hours (see specifics in recipe)
one pork chop cut open on plate
 

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Vary the heat level to your liking with more or less red pepper 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:
    • Worcestershire sauce (note this has anchovies in it). Use about 2 – 2 1/2 teaspoons. 
    • Soy sauce (it won’t have the same depth of taste though).
    • Recipe for Vegan Fish Sauce from Food52.
    • Recipe for Vegetarian Fish Sauce using mushrooms by Cook’s Illustrated.

How to make sous vide pork chops with Vietnamese style marinade

4 bone in pork rib chops on plate
Season bone-in rib pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Vietnamese sous vide pork chops marinade ingredients
Marinade/glaze Ingredients: soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, cilantro, brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, oil, lime
Heat water bath to your desired temperature (see recipe) and sous vide pork chops for 1-4 hours.
4 pork chops after sous vide on cutting board
Remove chops from plastic bag and dry them well with paper towels
Vietnamese pork chops finishing on grill
Heat grill to high heat. Brush chops with glaze and grill for 1 minute per side to get grill marks.
4 finished glazed pork chops on cutting board
glazed grilled pork chops on board with one sliiced

FAQ

What are the best pork chops to buy?

I always prefer bone-in chops because they are more flavorful and juicy. Rib chops are my favorite, but loin chops are good too. The possible downside for sous vide cooking is that any sharp edges of the bone can tear the sous vide bag. Boneless pork chops will work fine for this recipe as well.

What is sous vide?

Sous vide is a cooking method that cooks food in a sealed bag, immersed in a water bath, at a precisely controlled temperature. The food is cooked to an exact doneness and texture based on the temperature and time chosen. It takes all the guess work out of cooking (after a bit of experimenting). 

Is there a downside to cooking pork chops sous vide?

It takes longer and doesn’t create the aromas you get with roasting for example. You do get juices in the bag that can be used to make a sauce, but no browned bits from pan frying in a skillet.

Can I cook pork chops sous vide from frozen?

Yes. Add about 1 hour extra time. Add chops to a bag, seal and freeze it. Plunge bag with frozen chops directly into water bath.

Shortcuts

  • 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

  • Marinade: The marinade can be made a day or two ahead. You can also marinate the pork chops for several hours or a day ahead.
  • Chops: You have about an hour leeway for the cooking time which gives you some flexibility. To make a day or two ahead, you can sous vide the chops, cool them down quickly in ice water bath for 10 minutes, then store them in the fridge. To reheat, place them in the bag in the the water bath at 130F/54.4C for about 45 minutes to an hour. (You’re not really saving much time here and adding an extra step!)
  • Storing leftovers: Place leftover pork chops in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
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4.73 from 44 votes

Sous Vide Pork Chops (Vietnamese-style)

The sous vide cooking method is simply fantastic for pork chops. It keeps them moist and juicy and tender. The Vietnamese marinade and glaze takes them over the top with umami, sweet, salty flavors. So good.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 5 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4 (or 3 very generous servings)

Equipment

  • Sous Vide equipment

Ingredients

  • 2.7 lbs – 3 lbs bone-in rib pork chops, about 4 chops, Note 1 1-1 1/2 inches thick (2.5-3.8 cm)
  • salt, black pepper, garlic powder

Marinade for Sous Vide

  • 3 tablespoon neutral olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium is fine)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (honey or maple syrup ok too)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, Note 2
  • 2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or 1/8 tsp powder ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Add to marinade to make glaze for final step

  • 3 tablespoon lime juice 1 large lime or 2 smaller
  • 2 teaspoon minced or grated garlic (2 medium cloves garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • HEAT SOUS VIDE BATH: Heat sous vide water bath to 142F/61C for medium. Note 3 for other doneness options.
  • MAKE MARINADE: Combine all marinade ingredients in glass measuring cup (EXCEPT 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 cook sous vide, the other half for grilling or roiling.
  • PREPARE PORK CHOPS: Season pork chops on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Transfer pork chops to large ziploc bag (or in two medium ones). Or use a vacuum seal bag with a vacuum sealer. Pour in half of marinade (1/4 cup/59 ml)). Massage to distribute evenly. Reserve remaining marinade to make glaze.
  • COOK SOUS VIDE: To seal bag using water displacement method, place unzipped bag of pork chops into water until top of bag is just above water line. Air will be pushed out. Then seal bag. Let bag go – it should sink below water line. Cook for 1-4 hours:
    °thick chops 1 1/4-1 1/2 inches (3.2-3.8 cm) for 2-2.5 hours.
    °Thin cut 1/2-1 inch for 1-1.5 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 ON GRILL: Heat grill to high (~500-550F). Remove chops from bag. Pat dry with paper towels. Brush glaze on both sides and edge of chops. Leave 1 tablespoon for serving. Note 4 to broil or pan sear. Spray with oil to prevent sticking. Grill chops for 40-60 seconds per side to create grill marks. Cover grill in between to keep in heat. Transfer chops to platter. Brush remaining tablespoon of glaze on the top of chops. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired and serve.

Notes

  1. Pork chops to buy: I always prefer bone-in chops because they are more flavorful and juicy. Rib chops are my favorite, but loin chops are good too. Boneless chops will work fine for this recipe as well – 2 pounds will be plenty. 
  2. Alternatives to Fish Sauce: If you can’t eat fish sauce for dietary reasons or don’t like it, here are some alternatives:
    • Worcestershire sauce (note this has anchovies in it). Use about 2 – 2 1/2 teaspoons. 
    • Soy sauce (it won’t have the same depth of taste though).
    • Recipe for Vegan Fish Sauce from Food52.
    • Recipe for Vegetarian Fish Sauce using mushrooms by Cook’s Illustrated.
  3. Temperature for desired doneness:
    • Medium-rare, set temperature to 139-140F/59.4-60C (juicy and pink)
    • Medium: My go-to temp for pork chops is 142F/61C. This temp creates medium temperature pork chop with little to no pink. Juicy and tender.
    • Medium-well: 150F/65.6C 
    • Well done: 160F/71C (a bit dry)
  4. Instead of grilling:
    • Broil: 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 or the chops will get dry. 
    • Pan fry: Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat with a dash of vegetable or avocado oil (use an oil with a high smoke point). Pan sear the pork chops for a minute on each side, glazing at the end so it doesn’t burn. 
  5. To make ahead:
    • Marinade: The marinade can be made a day or two ahead. You can also marinate the pork chops for several hours or a day ahead.
    • Chops: You have about an hour leeway for the cooking time which gives you some flexibility. You can also sous vide the chops, cool them down quickly in ice water bath for 10 minutes, then store them in the fridge for a day or two. To reheat, place them (in the bag) in the the water bath at 130F/54.4C for about 45 minutes to an hour. (You’re not really saving much time here and adding an extra step!)
    • Storing leftovers: Place leftover pork chops in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 2 days.
 
Nutrition values are estimates.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Sous Vide Pork Chops (Vietnamese-style)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 637 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 205mg68%
Sodium 1464mg64%
Potassium 1233mg35%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 68g136%
Vitamin A 106IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Sous vide pork chops Vietnamese-style, originally published in 2019, has been updated with edited images and new information.

8 Comments

  1. Made this for supper last night and absolutely loved it! Will definitely be made another day in our house. Thanks

  2. Do you think I could freeze the chops and marinade and sous vide at a later date? Do I need to adjust the fish sauce a titch?

    1. Hi Tony, The time will depend on how thick the chops are. For thinner ones, under 1 inch, 1.5 hours is fine. For thicker ones, I would go 2 to 2.5 hours. More time is more tender (but no longer than 4 hours). Hope that helps.

  3. 5 stars
    This was a hit with the family!! I used the extra glaze on the rice. Be careful the glaze is strong and a little goes a long with on the rice. Don’t change a thing…can’t wait for tomorrows leftovers!

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