Grilled Lemongrass Pork Skewers

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Over the past few years, these aromatic and delicious BBQ pork skewers have been a smashing hit at all family birthday parties and holiday events.  It is the perfect protein option for fresh vermicelli bowls, banh mi sandwiches, or eaten straight off the skewer.  It is also, in my opinion, best topped with roasted crushed peanuts, fried shallots, zesty pickled carrots and daikon, scallion oil, crunchy julienned cucumber, fresh cilantro, and spicy sliced jalapenos.  The list of toppings may seem endless, but it all works harmoniously together and will taste great!
This recipe takes a little more time because you need to ensure the pork butt is sliced very thinly and skewer it.  If you’re lazy, you can skip the skewering part and just slice into big thin slices and grill over direct heat or stuff the pork in a grill basket and grill it (so it won’t fall into the grill grate).
6 pounds pork butt (shoulder), thinly sliced
1 cup honey
1 cup lemongrass, finely chopped
12 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Vietnamese caramel cooking sauce (optional)
Marinate Pork – In an extra-large bowl or bowl large enough to hold the pork, whisk honey, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, water, sugar, sesame oil, ground black pepper, and Vietnamese caramel cooking sauce together until combined.  Add lemongrass and garlic and mix well.  Add thinly sliced pork and mix well.  Add oil on the top of marinated pork, cover with saran wrap and let the pork marinate overnight.

Prepare Pork Skewers
– Before skewering the pork, if using bamboo or wooden skewers, let the skewers soak in water for at least 30 minutes.  When the skewers have been soaked, thread the pork onto the skewers and set aside.  Repeat until all the pork has been skewered.
Grill Pork Skewers –  Set the grill to medium high – high heat.  Once the grill is heated, grill pork directly over the open flames for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until pork is completely cooked.
Prepare Pork Skewers – When the pork has cooled down, remove the pork from the skewers.  Serve in vermicelli bowls or French baguette bread or however you want!
  • Great marinade for beef, chicken, and even shrimp.
  • If you do not have skewers, slice into bigger thin slices and grill directly over high heat.
  • Lemongrass is very fibrous and can be hard to chop.  If you have a local Asian Grocery store near, you can find pre-chopped lemongrass in the frozen section.  It won’t be as fragrant as fresh chopped lemongrass, but it still works fine.
  • If you don’t have caramel cooking sauce, you can substitute with molasses, thick soy sauce, or you can just leave it out.  The caramel cooking sauce gives a darker and bolder color when it is grilled.
  • I prefer to let the pork marinate for at least 12 hours or longer for better taste.
  • Soaking bamboo or wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly during the grilling process.

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