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Mastering Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops in Air Fryer

Knowing you are craving Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops and want to make it at home, but unfortunately, you don’t have a BBQ or a grill to grill the pork. Or you just want to use your air fryer for health but don’t know how to do it perfectly without BBQ equipment. Don’t worry; this article is for you.

This guide offers step-by-step instructions and professional tips to help you achieve that perfect balance of flavors and textures.

The comprehensive guide is right here below, along with “Quick Instruction,” will give you the brief to cook this dish. If you’ve already known about this dish or forgotten a part of the recipe, just step to the next part. If you are new, just scroll down to our guidelines, including preparation ingredients and how to marinate and dry pork chops.

Now, it’s time for cooking!

Quick Instruction

To make Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops in an Air Fryer, follow these quick steps:

Marinate the meat with fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, condensed milk, honey, cooking oil, minced garlic, minced shallot, minced lemongrass, and minced chili. Ensure it is evenly coated and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the Air Fryer to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place the marinated pork chops in the Air Fryer basket and cook for 20-22 minutes, turning them halfway through (after 10-12 minutes).

Once cooked, serve the pork chops with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, or enjoy them with steamed white rice and dipping sauce.

Ingredients and How to Choose

Fresh Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork chops:

When selecting pork chops for Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops, it is important to consider a few key factors.

First, opt for chops with a thickness of about 1-2 inches, with a moderate amount of fat and minimal bones.

Choosing chops that are too lean can result in dry meat. Additionally, look for pork with a visually appealing, vibrant pink color, and ensure that it has a good level of elasticity when touched.

  • 3 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 chilies
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cucumber


  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots


To prepare delicious Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops, start by cleaning the pork chops. Simply soak them in 2 tablespoons of salt for 5 minutes, then rinse with water and let them drain or gently pat dry with paper towels.

If opting for pork chops with meat, a moderate amount of fat, and the pork tendon, it is crucial to note cutting the tendon to prevent the pork from becoming contracted during the cooking process.

Next, finely chop 3 lemongrass stalks. Alternatively, you can use a blender to grind them, but avoid over-blending. The same caution applies when handling garlic and shallots.

After cleaning the pork chops, you can move the marinating step below this part. While waiting for the meat to absorb the seasonings, you can come back to this preparation part to prepare the remaining ingredients and make the dipping sauce for serving purposes (sauce instruction is below the cooking part).

These are the remaining ingredients that are used for serving, including cucumber, tomato and lettuce.

Remember to clean the cucumber and tomato, slicing them into approximately 0.3-inch thick pieces for garnishing and serving. Additionally, don’t forget to rinse the lettuce, as it will also be served alongside the pork chops.

Afterward, finish the preparation by finely chopping the spring onions (scallions).

How to Cook Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops in Air Flyer

Step 1: Marinate the Pork

As mentioned before, after cleaning the pork chops, you should move to this part to save your cooking time.

To marinate Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops using these ingredients, follow these steps:

In a mixing bowl, combine 800g pork chops, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp condensed milk (if you don’t have condensed milk, you can add 1 tbsp sugar more for instead), 1/2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp minced shallot, 4 tbsp minced lemongrass, 1 tbsp minced chili (adjust according to your spice preference), 3 tbsp fish sauce, and 1 tbsp cooking oil.

Mix everything together thoroughly, ensuring that the marinade is evenly distributed.

For optimal flavor infusion, cover the mixture with cling film. This will prevent insects or dust from getting in and avoid the absorption of unwanted odors if stored in the fridge.

Let the pork chops marinate for 30 minutes if you’re short on time, or for 1 hour, or even overnight in the refrigerator. The longer marinating time is highly recommended for the flavors to fully infuse into the meat.

If marinating overnight, it’s best to do it in the evening, so you can enjoy well-seasoned and quickly grilled pork chops the next morning.

Step 2: AirFlying the Pork

To cook Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops using an air fryer, follow these steps:

Place the pork chops in the air fryer.

Cook the pork chops twice for optimal results:

For the first round, set the air fryer temperature to 180 degrees and cook for 12 minutes.

After the first round, flip the meat to grill the other side.

For the second round, set the air fryer temperature to 180 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Once the pork chops are cooked, remove them from the air fryer.

Proceed with garnishing the pork chops as desired.

How to Make Dipping Sauce for Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops

To make a delectable dipping sauce for Vietnamese lemongrass pork chops, follow these steps: Start off by combining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of fish sauce in a saucepan. Heat the mixture on the stove until the sugar dissolves completely. 

Next, turn the heat down to low and allow the fish sauce to thicken for about 3-4 minutes. Be mindful not to overcook the sauce, as we want to maintain the desired consistency – not too thick nor watery. While the sauce simmers, prepare to mince 3 cloves of garlic and 2 red chili peppers.

After 3-4 minutes, turn off the stove, wait for the sauce to cool down, add garlic and chilies, and adjust the amount of chili peppers based on your desired level of spiciness. This versatile dipping sauce perfectly complements Vietnamese lemongrass pork chops, adding a burst of flavor to every bite.

How to Serve Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chop

The Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chop is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for any meal of the day, including breakfast. To serve this delicious meal, start by pairing it with steaming hot white rice, which complements the rich and flavorful savory-sweet dipping sauce.

To add more freshness and crunch, prepare cucumber and tomato slices as well as fresh lettuce leaves. For an authentic Vietnamese touch, consider serving pickled carrots alongside the pork chop. This combination creates a wonderful blend of flavors, reminiscent of the popular Vietnamese dish “Cơm Tấm.”

You can explore Vietnamese culinary channels on YouTube for more inspiration and guidance on preparing Vietnamese cuisine. Many foreigners also find these dishes appealing. Enjoy the Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chop and savor the unique flavors it offers!


  • Calories: 520 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Protein: 60g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 200mg
  • Sodium: 1700 mg
  • Potassium: 1240 mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 15g  
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
  • Calcium: 37 mg
  • Iron: 2mg

Common Mistakes When Cooking Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chop

Although Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops are easy to make, there are a few common mistakes that can lead to unsatisfactory results. For instance, some people fail to marinate the meat long enough for the flavors to fully absorb. This will impact the overall flavor of the dish and prevent it from achieving its full potential. 

Another common mistake is over-blending the lemongrass and garlic. This will lead to a more paste-like texture, which reduces the flavor of these two key ingredients. If you’re opting for crushing these ingredients with a pestle or mortar, be sure not to overdo it, as this might result in an undesirable texture and taste. 

Finally, some people may forget to adjust the heat when air-frying the pork chops. The temperature should be set at 180 degrees for optimal results. If it’s too low, the pork will not cook properly and result in a less-than-desirable outcome. On the other hand, if it is too high or overcooked, the pork chop will dry out and lose its juiciness. 

To ensure that the Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops are cooked to perfection, be mindful of these mistakes when preparing this delicious dish. 

Other Methods to Make Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chop

Aside from air-frying, there are other methods to make Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops. One of the most popular is grilling. To do this, preheat your grill and brush with oil before adding pork chops on top. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through, and then serve with your choice of accompaniments. 

You can also prepare this dish in an oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the pork chop is cooked through. Again, pair with the accompaniments of your choice and enjoy a delicious meal! 


How Long Do You Cook Pork Chops In An Air Fryer, And At What Temperature?

Cooking pork chops in an air fryer typically takes around 20 – 25 minutes at a temperature of 356°F (180°C). The exact time can vary based on the thickness of the chops. It’s important to monitor them with a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 145-160°F (63-71°C).

Why Are My Air Fryer Pork Chops Tough?

Tough air fryer pork chops can result from overcooking or using thin cuts of meat. To prevent toughness, ensure you’re cooking within the recommended time and temperature range. Using thicker pork chops can also help retain moisture and tenderness. Besides, you may choose pork chops without fat. 

What Is The Secret To Moist Pork Chops?

The secret to moist pork chops is proper cooking technique and avoiding overcooking. Brining the pork chops before cooking can enhance moisture retention. Also, sealing in moisture with a quick sear before air frying or baking can help lock in juices and keep the chops moist.

How Do You Tenderize Pork Chops When Cooking?

To tenderize pork chops, you can use a marinade or brine with ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, or buttermilk. These can help break down muscle fibers and enhance tenderness. Also, do not use salt. Additionally, pounding the pork chops lightly with a meat mallet can help tenderize them before cooking.

The Comprehensive Recipe

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 1h/ 1d (best)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese
  • Serving: 2
  • Equipment: Air Flyer
  • Ingredients
    • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon condensed milk
    • 1/2 tablespoon honey
    • 2 tablespoon salt
    • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots


Marinating the Pork:

In a mixing bowl, combine 800g pork chops with:

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk (or 1 tbsp more sugar if no condensed milk)
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced shallot
  • 4 tbsp minced lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp minced chili (adjust to taste)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Mix everything thoroughly for even distribution.

Cover the mixture with cling film to prevent contamination.

Marinate for 30 minutes (short), 1 hour (better), or overnight in the refrigerator (best).

Air Frying the Pork:

  • Place marinated pork chops in the air fryer.
  • Cook in two rounds for even cooking:
  • Round 1: Air fry at 180°C for 12 minutes.
  • Flip the pork chops.
  • Round 2: Air fry at 180°C for another 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove the pork chops from the air fryer.

Final Thoughts

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed for any meal of the day. With just a few simple steps, you can recreate this dish at home in no time. Follow these tips and tricks to make sure your pork chops come out perfectly juicy and flavorful every time. Don’t forget to take advantage of the versatile sauce to really kick this dish up a notch. Bon appetit!