Chili-Lime Marinade

Chili Lime Marinade
Photo by Susie Cushner

Savory fish sauce meets the spice of Thai chili and the tanginess of lime in this pork marinade. A Mosel Riesling is recommended below to balance the umami characteristics of the dish, with a hit of acid on the finish to cleanse the palate.

Though paired with pork here, this recipe will work just as well for other cuts of meat, particularly steak and chicken.

Grilled Pork Chops Spiced Up Three Ways
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 smashed and chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 Thai or Serrano chilies

Smash garlic cloves with the flat of a chef’s knife, chop, and set aside. Wearing gloves, thinly slice Thai or Serrano chilies, discarding seeds if less spice is preferred.

In wide, shallow bowl, whisk lime juice, fish sauce, canola oil, light brown sugar, garlic and  chilies until sugar dissolves. Add chops and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate from 8 hours to overnight, turning pork chops on occasion. Shake off excess marinade from chops and discard marinade. Cook chops according to instructions.

Pair It

For Steven Grubbs, wine director for Atlanta restaurants Empire State South and Five & Ten, the pairing for this is obvious. “This dish couldn’t be asking any more loudly for an old-style Mosel Riesling with a little bit of weight,” he says. “Pork and Riesling are natural matches…The addition of the fish sauce here really cinches it. The [residual sugar] cuts the heat and balances the fish sauce’s savoriness while also matching its umami contribution. Riesling’s high acidity comes in at the end to clean it all up.” His pick: 2013 Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spätlese (Mosel).

Published on January 26, 2017

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