Vietnamese Lemongrass Sticky Pork is the perfect meal to make when you’re “bored with your own cooking” as the flavours are just sensational. Minced (ground) pork and veg are given an exotic glow-up with the flavours of soy sauce, lime, garlic and brown sugar. The dish also uses lemongrass – which used to scare me (which part do I eat?!) – but it’s actually so easy to prepare. It can be found at most major supermarkets and now I use it all the time. Lemongrass is mild in flavour, so it’s suitable for all family members, yet it elevates these simple, low-cost ingredients to something truly restaurant-worthy!

Vietnamese Sticky Pork Bowls
You can easily omit the chopped chilli in these sticky pork bowls if you prefer. Or spice-lovers can just sprinkle some on their own portion before eating.

These tasty pork bowls are fuss-free and on the table in less than 30 minutes – my kind of dish for busy weeknights! Also, as there’s hardly any washing up, it’s just perfect for those times when you’re tired and tempted by takeout but would prefer a wholesome and delicious homecooked treat instead – as long as it’s fast and stress-free! I’ve suggested serving with jasmine rice, and you can even top the pork with a crispy fried egg for an even more filling meal. As the leftovers keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, I like to cook extra as they can be reheated for superb lunches and repeat dinners – but the eggs are best made fresh!

Do I have to use Lemongrass?

Lemongrass offers a subtle citrusy, refreshing flavour to this recipe and if you’ve never cooked with it before, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to prepare and just how much it can transform your cooking! If you are cooking for sensitive palates and are concerned about the flavour or texture of lemongrass being unfamiliar, I have some suggestions. Lemongrass has a fibrous texture, so if you want to add a subtle flavour without the texture, you can bruise the lemongrass with the back of a knife or rolling pin to release its flavour, then cook it in the recipe in one piece and remove it at the end. Lemongrass paste (found in the refrigerated section at the supermarket) is also a suitable alternative. It contains additives (which is why I generally opt for fresh), but is a great option if you’re wanting to pack in flavour fast! Use 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste as a substitute to fresh in the recipe OR use 1 teaspoon for a milder flavour to suit everyone’s preferences.

Vietnamese Sticky Pork Bowls
Vietnamese Lemongrass Sticky Pork is perfect served with steamed jasmine rice, but you could opt for noodles instead – or even cauliflower rice for a low-carb meal.

What else can I serve with Vietnamese Lemongrass Sticky Pork?

Try rice vermicelli noodles, egg noodles, or even cauliflower rice (which you can buy ready-made in the freezer section of the supermarket) for a low-carb option. Shredded cabbage, grated carrot, fresh herbs (like mint or coriander/cilantro) and fresh bean sprouts would all make delicious sides. Or you could serve these pork bowls with a side of steamed greens (green beans, snow peas/mangetout, bok choy/pak choy, broccoli or broccolini would all work well).

What are some other quick and easy meal ideas?

I’m always looking for ways I can get a delicious dinner on the table fast and with minimal effort. Chicken Pad See Ew, Juicy Homemade Beef Burgers, Coconut Red Curry Noodle Soup and Sticky Beef Noodles are some of our family favourites, but you can view all of my quick and easy recipes here.

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Vietnamese Sticky Pork Bowls, served with cucumber and fried egg

Vietnamese Lemongrass Sticky Pork

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Vietnamese Lemongrass Sticky Pork is a restaurant-worthy dish that you can quickly and easily make at home using simple, low-cost ingredients. This stress-free dinner is packed with delicious Asian flavours and will be a big hit with the whole family.

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass or 1 tbsp lemongrass paste (optional, see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamari or all-purpose soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (see note 2 for substitutions)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (see note 3 for substitutions)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tbsp water

To serve

  • Steamed jasmine rice
  • 4 fried eggs (optional)
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
  • 2 Lebanese (short) cucumbers, sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy-based frying pan on medium–high heat.
  2. Add the onion, lemongrass and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the pork and cook, stirring, for a further 4–5 minutes until the pork has browned.
  4. Add the dark soy sauce, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl using a spoon. Stir the mixture through the sauce and cook for a further 1–2 minutes or until any residual liquid has absorbed and the pork is cooked through.
  6. Divide the rice among four bowls to serve and top with the pork and fried egg (if using). Sprinkle with sliced spring onion and red chilli (if using). Serve with cucumber.

Notes

Note 1 – Lemongrass is optional but creates a wow factor. If using fresh lemongrass, remove the outer layers (they are too tough to eat), cut off the end (the same way you would with a spring onion/scallion) and chop the white part as finely as you can.

Note 2 – If your family tolerates fish sauce, I highly recommend using it as it makes this dish! It can however be substituted with tamari or all-purpose soy sauce at a push.

Note 3 – Fresh lime juice can be substituted with rice wine vinegar or white vinegar.

Make ahead:

Prep this meal ahead for an easy dinner or lunch! Store the cooked rice and the cooked sticky pork in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until piping hot for best results. If using, cook the fried eggs fresh.

Leftovers:

Store the leftover sticky pork in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If using, the egg is best eaten immediately. Not suitable to freeze.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: mains, rice, pork, vegetarian, desserts, baking, drinks, snacks, breakfast, dairy-free, budget-friendly, quick and easy, pork
  • Method: sauteing, stir-fry, pan
  • Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese