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4.74 from 45 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 (change as needed): 4 (or 3 very generous servings)
Author: Cheryl

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.
Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 1464mg | Potassium: 1233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg