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Almost Mom’s Vietnamese Marinade

Mom and me

My mother makes marinated Vietnamese pork chops – one of my favorite meals. Of course mom never measures anything. I have tried and tried to duplicate her marinade, but it never tastes the same. Having our fill of turkey this last week, I found this recipe Emeril Lagasse’s Grilled Vietnamese-Style Chicken Wings. The marinade has a lot of the same ingredients as Mom’s  marinade. So instead of chicken wings we used thinly sliced pork and served with rice. Not exactly like Mom’s, but it comes in a close 2nd!


• 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint, tips removed
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
• 1/4 cup chopped shallots
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
• 3 tablespoons chopped scallion whites
• 1/2 cup roughly chopped lemongrass bottoms
• 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 1/3 cup fish sauce
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 3 tablespoons peanut oil
• Kosher salt
• 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse the wings under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside in a large bowl while you prepare the marinade. Combine the garlic, shallots, ginger, scallions, lemongrass, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and peanut oil in a food processor and process until smooth.
Pour the marinade over the wings and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat a grill to medium. Remove the wings from the marinade; reserve the marinade to brush the wings while they cook. Place the wings on the grill, season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook, turning every few minutes and basting with the marinade for the first 18 or so minutes. Continue to grill the wings until cooked through, 8 to 10 more minutes. Place the wings on a serving platter and garnish with the peanuts and cilantro.

In 2nd place...

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