Fish sauce caramel pork chop with Asian slaw

Not yet rated

This recipe takes inspiration from Vietnamese and Thai cooking, combining caramel, fish sauce and soy sauce to make a beautiful sweet and salty marinade. The glazed, grilled pork chop is the star here, but the slaw on the side is important too – it provides lots of crunch and acidity to cut through the rich meat.

First published in 2020

Fish sauce is a remarkably versatile product – far more so than we give it credit for. Its deep umami flavour is a fantastic way to lift all sorts of things, from stocks and sauces to vinaigrettes, dressings, marinades, rubs, glazes and more. If you have ever tasted something and felt like it is missing a spark of something, a drizzle of fish sauce might just do the trick.

This is one of our favourite fish sauce recipes – the combination of fish sauce, soy and caramel is very common in Vietnam. Cooks will often make this caramel sauce and use it to balance all sorts of dishes. The beauty of this method is that the marinade brines the pork chops overnight, meaning the final result is moist and juicy rather than dry, as some pork chops can turn out. If you have leftover glaze at the end, keep it and use it on grilled meat, fish or vegetables.




  • 4 pork chops, weighing around 250g each, fat trimmed

Fish sauce caramel

Asian slaw



  • 1 lime, cut into 4 cheeks or quarters


To make the caramel marinade, combine the brown sugar and 50ml of the water in a saucepan and heat until dissolved. Half-fill the sink (or a larger saucepan) with cold water – you’ll need this to stop the caramel when it reaches the right colour
Once the sugar has dissolved and a syrup has formed, bring the mixture to the boil and simmer. The syrup will change colour to amber and then will begin to darken into a caramel. When it reaches a deep golden brown, take the pan off the heat and lower the bottom of the pan into the cold water. The pan will hiss and spit a bit, but this cools the pan and stops the caramel from burning
Add the remaining water to the caramel along with the rest of the ingredients for the caramel. Briefly bring the mixture back to the boil, then allow to cool to room temperature
Once the marinade has cooled, pour it into a big ziplock bag with the pork chops inside. Massage the marinade into the pork and leave in the fridge overnight
The next day, preheat a grill to its highest setting. Remove the pork chops from the bag and pat away any excess moisture from the surface of each. Pour the marinade into a pan and reduce to a glaze (the consistency of thin honey)
Sear the pork chops under the grill – they should need about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the chops. Turn the chops over after 4 minutes, then remove after another four minutes and brush with the glaze. Grill for another minute or so on each side – the glaze should caramelise and char a little under the heat of the grill
Take the pork chops out and rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the slaw. Finely slice the white cabbage, red cabbage and carrot on a mandoline (or with a very sharp knife) and combine with the beansprouts and spring onions. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and taste to check you're happy with the balance of flavours
Slice the pork chops off the bone and serve with the dressed slaw and a slice of lime on the side

GBC Kitchen is where you'll find accessible, inspiring recipes with a twist, from our in-house team of recipe developers. Perfect for mid-week meals or special occasions alike, GBC Kitchen recipes will help you become a more confident cook, and impress those around you in the meantime! Don't forget to check out our brand new How to Cook guide every month, which focuses on a specific ingredient and ways to use it, alongside four brand new recipes.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more