Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Belly

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Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Belly (Ba chi rang sa) features savory and lightly sweet pork belly pieces browned with a lot of lemongrass, making the dish smell so good. The dish is best served with rice.

pieces of pork belly that have been browned with lemongrass, fish sauce and sugar.

Main dishes in the daily meal rotation of Viet families usually use just a few ingredients. This lemongrass pork belly is no exception. It requires only 6 ingredients and everything is cooked in one pan. The Vietnamese name of this dish is ba chỉ rang sả or ba rọi rang sả. You can see how easy this recipe is in the video below.

Watch the Recipe Video

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Prepare Pork Belly

Pork belly consists of 3 layers: the outside skin, a layer of fat and a layer of meat. Try to choose one with a thin layer of fat. If the fat layer is too thick, the dish will be too greasy.

For this particular dish, you don’t need to keep the skin layer. The skin will have a chewy texture (kinda like gummy bears) which some Vietnamese people enjoy. This may sound strange to you, but in Asia, we sometimes eat food just purely for the texture. Anyway, it is totally fine to remove the skin before cooking.

First of all, cut the pork into bite-sized pieces (1/2 inch thick or up to 3/4 inch thick) as in the photo below. Marinate with shallots, garlic, fish sauce and sugar for 15 minutes (or up to 30 minutes at room temperature). You can customize the amount of fish sauce and sugar to your liking. The sugar will round out the taste as well as give the meat a nice golden brown color.

add the marinade to the pork belly in a bowl

Prepare Lemongrass

By now, you probably have seen quite a lot of Vietnamese pork recipes with lemongrass on the blog (such as these lemongrass pork chops, bun cha or lemongrass pork noodle salad). In this dish, we only need the white and very light green part of lemongrass stalks.

You will need to slice them very thinly on a bias as in the photo below. The green part is very fibrous so we don’t use them in stir-fries with lemongrass.

slicing lemongrass very thinly on a bias

How to Make Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Belly

It is much quicker and easier to cook ba chi rang sa than another Vietnamese pork belly recipe I shared a while ago. Having said that, this dish still requires a little bit of patience.

First, sauté the aromatics until fragrant and then add the meat.

cook the pork belly with lemongrass in a pan

The pork belly and lemongrass will need to be browned over medium heat for 20-25 minutes (no longer than 30 minutes). This method of cooking is called rang cháy cạnh in Vietnamese. The reason is we want the fat and meat to break down enough so that the cooked pork will be flavorful with a nice chew.

brown pork belly with lemongrass in a pan

Give everything in the pan a stir every few minutes to make sure they are browned evenly. If the heat is too high, the meat will be dry and tough quickly, the lemongrass slices may get burned and we don’t want that.

What to Serve with this Dish

a pan with pieces of pork belly after being cooked with lemongrass.

It is best to eat this dish with steamed rice. To make a full meal, you can add a steamed or stir-fried vegetable dish and/or a soup dish. Some quick and easy dishes you can serve with this Vietnamese pork belly recipe are:

⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

pieces of pork belly that have been cooked with lemongrass in a pan

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Belly

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Belly (Ba chi rang sa) features savory and lightly sweet pork belly pieces browned with a lot of lemongrass, making the dish smell so good. The dish is best served with rice.
Author: Sophie
5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb pork belly
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 5-6 lemongrass stalks
  • cooking oil

Instructions
 

  • Slice pork belly into bite-sized pieces, about 1/2 inch thick (or up to 3/4 inch thick). Please refer to the video in the post to see how the pork belly pieces look.
  • Mix the pork with minced garlic, shallots, fish sauce, sugar and black pepper. Marinate at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (or up to 30 minutes).
  • Discard the fibrous outer layer and green part of lemongrass stalks. Slice the white and very light green part very thinly on a bias.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add some cooking oil. Add lemongrass and sauté briefly until you start to smell the aroma.
  • Add pork belly to the pan. Keep stirring, toss and cook until the outside of the pork is no longer pink. Then stir and cook every few minutes for about 20-25 minutes until both the pork and lemongrass are golden brown and the pork tastes flavorful. Lower the heat near the end to avoid burning the lemongrass. Adjust seasoning with more fish sauce and sugar to taste.
  • Transfer to serving plates and serve hot with steamed rice.

Video

Notes

If you use pork belly with skin, the skin will have a chewy texture (kinda like gummy bears) after being cooked which some Vietnamese people enjoy. It is totally fine to remove the skin before cooking.
If your stove is not powerful, before adding the pork, you can increase the heat to medium high and once the outside is no longer pink, reduce it to medium. This is to ensure your pan is hot, otherwise the pork may be steamed and lose its natural juice.
Once the outside is no longer pink, maintain a medium heat and patiently brown the pork and lemongrass. If the heat is too high, the meat will be dry and tough too fast and the lemongrass may be burned. Cook until both pork and lemongrass are golden brown and the texture is to your liking. The cooking time should not exceed 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 827kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 80g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 524mg | Potassium: 461mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: lemongrass pork belly
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This recipe first appeared on Delightful Plate in May 2020. It has been updated with more information and unit conversion.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! Tried this last night and I immediately recommended to my friends. It’s so tasty I ate more than I should. Simple to cook + ultra delicious means this will be going into my recipe book!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      That is so great to hear! I’m so happy you enjoyed it and even recommended it to your friends. Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know :).

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