These grilled Vietnamese lemongrass pork tenderloin skewers are an easy dish that will remind you of your favorite Vietnamese restaurant!
The lemongrass adds a wonderful summery freshness to these skewers. I'm seeing fresh lemongrass in local supermarkets these days, so I figured I'd better snap it up and make something good with it.
I've been meaning to make Vietnamese-inspired meat skewers for a while! I fancied pork when I first made these a few weeks ago, and they worked out nicely. We used to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant every Thursday evening. Long story short, we got kinda bored of the same routine, the prices went up while the quality stayed the same, and we just wanted to change it up.
Being a food blogger, I wanted to see if I could recreate some of those Vietnamese flavors at home without too much trouble. Success! Granted, if I wanted a whole vermicelli bowl with those fried spring rolls, a meat skewer, and grilled shrimp, it would just be easier to go out for dinner. These skewers by themselves weren't any trouble at all, however. I love that lemongrass flavor!
I chose pork tenderloin because it's easy to prepare, tender, and readily available. I don't eat pork too often, but it's my go-to when I do decide to make it.
I did a little research on what sorts of things go into the Vietnamese marinades that I love so much. A general Google search let me know that fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, and soy sauce were common ingredients in a whole variety of recipes. Some added sugar, which is good in my books because it helps caramelize the meat when you grill it. I played with the quantities until it looked right, and I was very happy with the results.
Just a note for those who haven't cooked much with fish sauce. It does have quite a strong smell, and you may even wonder if you added way too much to the marinade before you cook it. Once you cook the meat, the flavors mellow, and it tastes like the grilled meat from your favorite Vietnamese restaurant.
What to serve with Vietnamese lemongrass pork
Rice noodles with some raw carrots and cucumber and a dash of hoisin sauce would be lovely. Rice would also go well.
Other pork recipes to try:
- Creamy Pork Tenderloin Medallions
- Crockpot Honey Mustard Pork Chops
- Ground Pork Tacos with Apple Slaw
- Easy Pork Chops and Apples
- Perfect Instant Pot Pulled Pork
I hope you love these grilled Vietnamese lemongrass pork tenderloin skewers as much as I did!
Questions? Leave me a comment.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Tenderloin Skewers
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemongrass chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon shallot chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 large pork tenderloin cut into bite-size pieces
- Add all the marinade ingredients to a large Ziploc bag along with the pork pieces. Marinate for at least an hour, up to overnight (refrigerate).
- If using wooden skewers, it's a good idea to soak them for 30 minutes beforehand to prevent excessive burning and splintering.
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Thread the meat onto the skewers. Reduce heat to medium-high. Grill skewers for about 15 minutes total, turning every few minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. I cooked these with a gas BBQ with the lid down.
- How to prep the lemongrass: Cut the dry ends off the stalk, then use your hands to peel the tough outer "shell" of the stalk. Discard that outer shell. Use a knife to slice the newly revealed inner stalk. You can then easily chop those slices up finely.
- Fish sauce is quite aromatic, but it does mellow once you cook the pork.
- Every grill/BBQ/grill pan is different, so please adjust cooking time as needed to ensure that the pork is cooked properly and to your liking. The USDA recommends cooking it to an internal temperature of 145F. Nowadays, slightly pink inside is generally considered to be ok (see this interesting article from Serious Eats that discusses how well pork should be cooked in more depth if you're interested in that sort of thing).
- Serves 2-4.