Thit Heo Nuong Xa – Vietnamese lemongrass pork

Traditionally cooked over hot coals as street food on the hectic back streets of cities like Hanoi and Saigon, Vietnamese lemongrass pork (or tpress heo nuong xa) is one of the simplest and most delicious classic Vietnamese recipes that you can recreate in your own kitchen. It's a great way to experience authentic, tasty food from this exotic country.

Vietnamese lemongrass pork


Prepare for 10 minutes
marinate for up to 24 hours
Cook for 30 minutes




4 servings

Serve with

Sweet Thai chili and turmeric rice

Wine match

Newton Johnson Pinot Noir

Publish the flavors

I used a pestle and mortar to form the base for the marinade. I think that's better than using a food processor or blender for this type of meal because I want all the flavors to be released, and crushing the ingredients ensures that. If you don't have one available, you can use a hand blender. However, I recommend buying a pestle and mortar. This makes a positive difference.

In the following method, I present cooking options for standard grills and charcoal grills.

Pork loin steaks marinating in the sauce

Charcoal hot and ready to cook the pork

Marinated pork loin steaks cooking over charcoal

Vietnamese lemongrass pork served with rice


  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pestle and mortar (or hand blender)
  • Small bowl
  • Pastry brush
  • Large lockable container


  • 4 pork chops or sirloin steaks
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small shallots
  • 4-5 tbsp chopped lemongrass (see below)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oil, preferably peanut
  • 1-4 tsp fish sauce (see below)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • Coriander and green spring onions (garnish)

Fish sauce is an acquired taste. If you are not used to it, try 1 tsp and see how you like it. I cook with 1 tsp, that's enough for our taste. Lemongrass paste can also be used. This is stronger than chopped lemongrass. Depending on the flavor, use 2-4 tablespoons.



  1. Crush the garlic gloves, chop the shallot into ring segments and pull the lemongrass out of the stems. The video in the section with tips, tips and pictures shows how to do this.
  2. Add garlic, shallot, lemongrass, sugar, pepper and salt to a pestle and mortar. Crush them into a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and combine the soy sauce, fish sauce and oil.
  3. Spread the marinade over all sides of the pork chops. Place them in a sealable container (or a tray with a lid) and marinate them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high or Big Green Egg (direct installation) to 180 ° C.
  2. Remove the pork chops from the marinating container. Boil them either under the grill or directly over the coals of the egg for 4 to 8 minutes per side (depending on how thick the pork is) and turn them a few times.
  3. Transfer them to a warm plate and cover them loosely with kitchen foil for 10 minutes.
  4. Garnish with chopped coriander and green spring onions.

Vietnamese lemongrass pork garnished and served

Notes, tips and pictures

  1. A little thinly sliced ​​red chilli can be added to the paste to give it extra flavors.
  2. This meal is usually cooked with pork chops over coals on the streets of Vietnam. I used pork loin steaks because I happened to have some. I also saw how it was cooked with boneless pork shoulder and pork cubes on skewers. As long as the meat is about 1 cm thick, you are fine.
  3. As you can see from the comments below, this marinade can also be used on the pork shoulder for a low and slow cook.
  4. This video shows how to extract the parts of lemongrass necessary for cooking.

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