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Grilled Thai Ginger-Garlic Pork Chops

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Serves four.

Serve these chops with Cilantro-Mint Sauce or Fresh Plum Salsa or a simple Thai salad of sweet onions, cucumbers, and carrots in a sweet vinegar dressing

  • 3 to 4 Tbs. finely chopped lemongrass (remove the outer leaves from 1 or 2 stalks and chop the tender centers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro; more for garnish
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint; more for garnish
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canned pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 4 frenched center-cut pork chops,about 1-1/2 inches thick
  • Lime wedges for serving

In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, cilantro, mint, ginger, garlic, sugar, and lime zest. Stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce, pineapple juice, and oil. Put the chops in a large zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

When you’re ready to grill the chops, remove them from the marinade and drain off and discard the liquid. It’s okay if some solids adhere to the chops.

Build and light a charcoal fire with coals banked on one side only. If using a gas grill, set one side to medium high and leave the other side off. When the fire is medium hot (you’ll be able to hold your hand just above the grate for about 2 seconds), set the chops directly over the heat. Sear them for about 2 minutes per side, and then use tongs to move them to the area with no direct heat, arranging them so the bone side of the chop (if there is one) faces the heat (the bone acts as a barrier to the heat). Cover the grill and cook the chops indirectly until their internal temperature reaches 145° to 150°F, another 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Transfer the chops to a clean platter and let them rest for 5 minutes so the juices redistribute and the chops finish cooking. Sprinkle with more cilantro and mint and serve with the lime wedges.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : without brine; Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): fat g 44; Fat Calories (kcal): 390; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 15; Protein (g): protein g 38; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 2690; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 135; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Perfect - only had time to marinade for 4 hours and did not have cilantro so used lime basil instead. The chops were juicy and were rated as "the best pork chops I have ever had" by one dinner guest.

These smell fantastic cooking. We did them on a grill pan indoors. Served with a cauliflower fried "rice". The only complaint I had was that the pork was REALLY salty - my guess is that it is caused by the fish sauce. I'd probably cut that in half next time.

Bar none the best pork chops ive ever tasted. The mint-cilantro sauce is bomb and everyone that ive made these for always asks for me to make them again!

I used 1 lb pork chops that were about 2 inches thick. These were the best pork chops I have ever made. The marinade was fantastic. I served them with the plum salsa and brown rice.

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