Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Vietnamese pork chops are worth trying

By JULIAN BRUNTS

Special to the Sun Herald

Give Vietnamese pork chops a try.
Give Vietnamese pork chops a try.

This week’s blog topic is Vietnamese food that is available on the Coast.

Sure pho and Vietnamese style po-boys are great, but there is so much more from which to choose -- pork, seafood, beef and veggies, paired with rice, rice noodles and crusty bread. What a world of options and combinations.

 An overlooked favorite of mine is the Vietnamese pork chop, which is marinated in something sweet and delicious, so when it is grilled it caramelizes with crunchy dark bits and is showstopper.

It almost always comes with a side of another delicious Vietnamese standard, a pickled daikon and carrot salad. Daikon isn’t much on big flavor, but has a delightful crunch and provides that contrast in texture for which so many Asian food cultures are famous.

My favorite combination is the pork chop, with grilled shrimp, daikon salad and steaming jasmine rice. Another must is the dipping sauce this dish often comes with. It is a perfectly balanced blend of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.  The fish sauce may put you off, if you have never tried it, but it is addictively good when properly blended.

There are a few other interesting combinations, such as a fried egg and steamed rice cake. Give these slightly different takes on a classic pork chop a try, and I am betting you will love it.

When you order this killer good dish, don’t be shy about picking it up by the bone and making sure to get every delicious morsel.

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