Cambodia - Sach Chrouk
How can you not think with your stomach with grilled pork? What’s your favorite thing to grill?
Except... surprise, it wasn’t grilled because I don’t have one. I had to pan fry it but oh man was this flavorful! I marinated it in a combination of tamarind and lemongrass overnight. The flavors were jam-packed full of delicious complexities. I made a lot of pork and repurposed the leftovers (today) to make fried rice.
For this dish though, I focused on individual components to make a complete meal a few nights ago. And the pork was absolutely the star. I made a turmeric rice, garlic spinach, and pickled veggies. I really enjoy the challenge of trying to accommodate the entree with some side dishes to really balance and make the meal a bit healthier. Plus, vinegar / pickled veggies are super healthy for you... right...?
Anyway, the marinade was awesome and can see myself making it again, or having my parents make it on the grill when I visit them. Or grill it myself when I move to my new apartment in Atlanta.
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork chop (sliced into thin medallions)
1/2 cup water
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 stalk green onion (chopped)
1/4 cup lemongrass (minced)
1 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar (brown preferred)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 chili peppers (chopped)
In a blender or food processor, add water, garlic, lemongrass, green onion, tamarind juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, oil, pepper, and chili pepper. Blend well. Note: I actually used tamarind paste that I ordered off Amazon and used more than just a tablespoon. I like the flavor so I used about the same amount as the lemongrass. Add this to a big Ziplock bag (or a container with a lid) with the pork and marinate it overnight.
If you have a grill, fire it up! Since I don't really know how to grill, I'm not sure about the timing per side or if you can adjust temperatures, but if you do grill. definitely get those nice char lines! Let it rest and slice it into thin strips.
If you're using a pan like I did set your pan on medium-high heat and add oil. I think using coconut oil would be perfect for this. When the oil is heated through, add the pork. You might have to work in batches. Don't crowd it. Note: I sliced the pork into medallions first before I seared it, and then cut into strips after cooking. It's up to you how you want to cut into strips before or after.
Serve with rice and garnish with scallions, if desired. I also served this with pickled veggies and garlic spinach.
Optional, but worth it. In a small saucepan, bring the rest of the marinade sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Use this as a dipping sauce for your meats when you're ready to eat!
Recipe adapted from Khmer Krom Recipes.