Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vietnamese Pork Chops with Broccoli in Roasted Chile Paste

There are few things Jason and I love more than Vietnamese food. Found the pork chop recipe in the latest Bon Appetit and it inspired me to crack open my new Charles Phan cookbook for a side dish. This broccoli side caught my eye because it's stir fried in a fiery, homemade, roasted chile paste. These two dishes made a seriously delicious dinner!
Vietnamese Pork Chops
Recipe and picture from

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1-inch thick-cut bone-in pork chops (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Lime halves (for serving)

  • Whisk shallot, brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a shallow dish. Using a fork, pierce pork chops all over (to allow marinade to penetrate faster) and add to marinade in dish. Turn to coat. Cover and let pork chops marinate at room temperature, turning occasionally, 20 minutes.
  • Remove pork chops from marinade, scraping off excess (reserve marinade for sauce). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly season pork chops with salt. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let pork chops rest 10 minutes before serving.
  • Meanwhile, bring marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes.
  • Serve pork chops with reduced marinade and lime halves.
  • DO AHEAD: Chops can be marinated 1 day ahead. Chill, turning bag occasionally.

  • Broccoli with Beech Mushrooms and Roasted Chile Paste
    Recipe from Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan

    3 cups broccoli florets
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon roasted chile paste (recipe follows)
    1/2 cup beech mushrooms
    2 tablespoons rice wine
    2 tablespoons chicken stock
    1 tablespoon fish sauce

    Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water until cool. Set aside.

    Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil, garlic, chile paste, and mushrooms; toss well to coat and let cook stirring, 30 seconds.

    Add the broccoli and toss well, then add the rice wine, chicken stock, and fish sauce and cook, stirring, until the liquid has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

    Roasted Chile Paste

    1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
    1 tablespoon annatto seeds
    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1/4 cup finely minced garlic (about 8 cloves)
    1/4 cup red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup ground bean paste (you can sub brown miso)
    2 tablespoons rice wine
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons light soy sauce

    Combine the peppercorns and annatto seeds in a spice grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) and grind coarsely. Set aside.

    In a small saucepan, combine the shallots and oil over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes, until the shallots are light gold. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes longer, until the garlic and shallots are lightly browned.

    Stir in the red pepper flakes and the peppercorn-annatto mixture, mixing well. Add the wine, sugar, soy sauce, and bean paste and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 months.