All good things to those who wait… yes, this may require some advance prep, but the result is the juiciest pork cutlet you’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. Trust.
2 pork cutlets (about 3cm thick)
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and pale part roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp vegetable oil
steamed rice or salad, to serve
Nuoc cham dressing:
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Start this the night before if you can. Season the pork cutlets generously with salt and place in the fridge overnight or for up to 2 days. If you don’t have the time, simply salt and allow to sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
When ready to cook, use a mortar and pestle to pound the lemongrass and garlic to a fine paste. Transfer the paste to a large bowl. Mix through the fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Add the pork cutlets and mix to combine. Set aside while you make the nuoc cham.
For the nuoc cham, whisk together the ingredients. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Preheat a barbecue char-grill to high. Pour or brush the oil on. Scrape off most of the marinade from the pork (reserve the marinade). Cook the pork, turning often for about 3 minutes or until nicely charred on the outside. Then turn the heat to low and spread both sides of the pork with the reserved marinade. Cook, turning often, for another 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
Transfer to a plate and rest for 5 minutes. Then slice and serve with nuoc cham and steamed rice or salad.