Thit nuongThe traditional way of making thit nuong is to cut the meat into 2-3 inch strips, then marinade the meat and grill it in between two wire baskets over a charcoal grill. The marinade consists of caramelized sugar syrup (nuoc mau, click for recipe) and fish sauce, two cooking essentials in the Vietnamese kitchen.

The fish sauce is very salty (and a bit smelly), but it has a lot of flavor. I often add a few dashes to my chicken, pork, and shrimp instead of salt and a little bit of sugar to get the protein crispy.plate of thit nuong

There are a bunch of traditional Vietnamese dishes where thit nuong is included, but here are a few of my favorites:
• Rice with grilled meat (‘com thit nuong’ as seen on the top picture)
• The Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi thit nuong)
• Angel hair rice noodles with grilled pork, served with lettuce for wrapping (banh hoi thit heo nuong)

As a city-dweller I am not privileged to have a garden with an outdoor grill, so unfortunately I have to make this in my oven. For this I use pork chops, which are on the more fatty side. If you do have a charcoal grill, you can make it the traditional way and use pork butt or shoulder instead.

Thit Nuong (caramelized grilled pork)
Serves 4
603 calories
19 g
177 g
32 g
58 g
7 g
272 g
884 g
14 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 603
Calories from Fat 287
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 177mg
Sodium 884mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 14g
Protein 58g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 2 lbs. (900 grams) pork chops (or 1 ½ lbs. (680 grams) pork butt or shoulder, thinly sliced to about ¼ inch thick)
  2. • ¼ cup (60 ml) lemongrass, minced
  3. • ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
  4. • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  5. • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  6. • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  7. • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  8. • 3 small shallots, minced
  9. • 1 tablespoon nuoc mau (caramel syrup)
  1. 1. Prepare the marinade with the above ingredients and coat the meat to marinade for at least 1-2 hours or for more enhanced taste the day before.
  2. 2. For oven: Set the oven to broil or grill and place the meat on a grilling rack right under the heating element. Broil/grill a few minutes on each side.
  3. For charcoal grill: lay out the meat in between two wire baskets and grill for a few minutes on each side.
  1. Nuoc mau is easy to make and last forever, you can find the recipe under another post.

Tina Diep

I LOVE FOOD and better yet I LOVE TO COOK.

I can thank my Vietnamese roots. Vietnamese people use a great amount of time cooking and eating, traits which they have learned from their families. Everyone seems to know how to cook, and they are adept at picking fresh and quality foods from the market. Food is a priority in Vietnam – if you eat well, you live well.

I was born in Denmark, and in my mind I am a true Dane. Danish people cook a lot as well, but they prefer to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the table. I consider myself Vietnamese from a culinary standpoint and Danish from a cultural standpoint (and I live in New York, which is a Mecca for foodies).

My mum is a great cook, she taught me how to chop vegetables and how to just randomly throw things together and somehow get an awesome meal. She makes cooking seem like art, and she is my inspiration for DiepLicious cooking.

My husband loves food as well and he has a great appetite. Cooking for him is a real joy. He has a great interest in everything that concerns health, and loves to point out specific foods and why they are good for you to eat. I will share his knowledge with you. He makes my cooking more challenging, but also a lot healthier.

I offer you one Golden Rule: to enjoy food fully, always taste the food even if you don’t like it. For me it takes a couple of tries to get to know the real flavor.


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