Vietnamese Pulled Pork with Sweet and Tangy Lemongrass Glaze

Five spice rubbed pork seared to golden, braised til it falls apart, and glazed with a sweet, tangy lemongrass reduction – yes, please! Succulent, tender pulled pork with subtle spice, and wonderful depth of flavor from Vietnamese style seasoning, a quick sear and a long, slow braise. Are you hungry yet?

I have a “thing” for pulled pork. For the sake of posterity, let’s call this “thing” a love affair. Well, maybe not love affair. That sounds a bit creepy. Let’s call it a deep fondness, a culinary crush, if you will. Still creepy…I give up. I love it, and make it often. In fact, this is the third appearance it has made on HGT (vegetarians avert your eyes.) Pulled pork requires a bit of a time commitment, but most is completely hands off and the final result is always worth the wait. Your time investment is repaid tenfold with deliciousness. I love making a big batch of pulled pork on a lazy Sunday, and then using the meat for quick, easy and delicious meals through the remainder of the work week. The most difficult part is the waiting game. Your whole kitchen slowly fills with a gorgeous savory aroma that will have your mouth watering and tummy rumbling.

There’s so much you can do with pulled pork! I have big plans for this scrumptious batch. Stay tuned for a week’s worth of delicious Asian style recipes, all utilizing this one lovely (and giant) roast.

Special Equipment:

  • Heavy oven proof pot (I used my 6 quart dutch oven)
  • Patience

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 pounds pork shoulder (trimmed of fat cap, and cut into large but manageable pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground, dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Braising Components:
  • 4 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 2 thai chilies (halved)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh, raw ginger (peeled)
  • 2-3 stalks lemon grass (cut into 3-4 inch pieces)
  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup orange juice (optional)
Ingredients for the Lemongrass Reduction/Glaze:
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 cups reserved braising liquid from pork
  • 2 inch piece of raw, fresh ginger (peeled and finely minced)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (fine mince)
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass (finely minced)
      • I used my food processor as a serious time saver here
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons hoisin (char siu sauce is typical, but I prefer hoisin)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 thai chili (seeds removed and minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (dissolved in a bit of water)

Directions:

  • Mix together dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and thoroughly rub pork on all sides
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy oven-proof pot, heat 2 tablespoon oil on medium heat
  • Brown pork on all sides one piece at a time.
  • Discard most of rendered fat from pot.
  • Return pan to heat, and deglaze with broth being sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with your utensil
  • Add remaining braising ingredients to the broth and return pork to pot. (pork should be about 3/4 covered with broth)
  • Bring liquid to a simmer
  • Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 3-4 hours, or until pork is fork tender
    • Turn meat halfway through cook time and add water if needed
  • Remove pork from broth and transfer to a large baking dish (reserving braising liquid)
  • Shred with 2 forks discarding any large pieces of fat or gristle
Begin the reduction:
  • Heat a sauce pan to medium/high heat and add lemongrass, ginger and garlic
  • Saute briefly, until fragrant
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Stir in cornstarch and allow to thicken
  • Remove from heat
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer, mashing the minced veg with the back of your spoon for a smooth consistency. (optional)
Glaze the pork:
  • Return baking sheet with pork to the oven, under the broiler for 10 minutes
  • Baste pork with lemongrass glaze a couple of times while you allow it to crisp under the broiler
Serve with steamed rice, pickled carrot and daikon, and additional lemongrass reduction on the side.

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23 thoughts on “Vietnamese Pulled Pork with Sweet and Tangy Lemongrass Glaze

    • Hungry is good =) Thanks!

      Pulled pork is so forgiving! You can really take any recipe you like and make it in the oven instead. Similar method to what I’ve described above, just different braise ingredients.

      By the by, I greatly prefer it in the oven! I’ve just never mastered the slow cooker.

  1. Oh my lord, that looks and sounds incredible. The pork is brilliantly cooked and lemongrass is one of my favourite flavours. I would like some, please.

    • Love your work Julie! Tried this today and the whole family loved it! bahn mi for tomorrow with the meat I have left too…

      • Thanks so much Ray! I’m so glad you and the family enjoyed the pork. We loved the bahn mi. In fact, we ate them three days in a row! If you have leftover glaze…totally drizzle that over your meat in the sandwich. It’s blow-your-mind delicious.

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  5. Hi Julie. I’m adding this as a recipe to the myfitnesspal.com recipe database, credited to you. It looks so delicious that I wanted to get the nutritional info up for it and include it in my food diary. Hope that’s ok with you?
    Thanks, James.

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