Sweet and Salty Grilled Steak With Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon packed lime zest
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 large jalapeño, seeds and veins removed if desired, minced
1 flank steak, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 small seedless English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon vegetable, peanut or olive oil (optional)
Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving (optional)
Sesame seeds or crushed roasted peanuts, for serving (optional)
Fresh mint leaves or cilantro, for serving (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and jalapeño. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the flank steak and let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours). Let meat come to room temperature before cooking if necessary.

Combine the cucumber, radishes and scallions. Pour in just enough of the marinade sauce to coat.

Light the grill or heat the broiler to high. Pat steak dry with paper towels.

If grilling, cook until done to taste, about 3 minutes per side for rare. If broiling, heat a 10-inch skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add oil to pan and sear the meat for 2 minutes. Flip meat and immediately transfer pan directly to top shelf of oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes for rare, or longer for more well-done meat. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes covered in foil.

Thinly slice steak and serve over cooked rice noodles or rice if desired, and top with the cucumber salad. Garnish with sesame seeds and plenty of herbs if using and serve with remaining marinade as a sauce.

Jalapeño Grilled Pork Chops

FOR THE PORK CHOPS:
5 large jalapeños, stemmed
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 bunch cilantro stems, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 packed cup)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 tablespoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
8 thin-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (1/2-inch thick)

FOR THE RELISH:
1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish
Cilantro rice or cooked white rice, for serving (optional)

Make the pork chops: In a food processor, blitz the jalapeños, garlic, cilantro stems, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and sugar until smooth. Place the pork chops in a large bowl or resealable container and pour the marinade over them; turn the chops to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

While the chops marinate, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high-heat cooking, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.
Make the relish: In a small bowl, toss the jalapeño, red onion, rice vinegar, salt, sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Set aside to quick-pickle until ready to serve, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Carefully grease the grill grate: Use tongs to grip a wadded paper towel dipped in oil and then rub the grates with the oiled towel. With the marinade clinging to them, place the pork chops on the hot greased grate. Grill until the chops are charred at the edges and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The meat is ready to flip when it releases easily from the grates. (If using a gas grill, close the lid between flips.) Alternatively, cook the chops on the stovetop in batches. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, and heat until shimmering. Add the chops, with the marinade clinging to them, to the pan. Sear until browned and caramelized at the edges and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Discard any remaining marinade.

Serve the chops with the relish and cilantro on top. If you’d like, serve rice alongside.

Sweet and Salty Grilled Pork With Citrus and Herbs

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sambal chile paste (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 lime, halved crosswise, plus 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
1 orange or tangerine, halved crosswise (optional)
Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving (optional)
1 head Boston lettuce or escarole, torn into large pieces
6 mint sprigs
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 shallot, thinly sliced into rings

Using a sharp knife, slice pork shoulder crosswise into 1-inch-thick steaks. (Depending on the shape and cut of your shoulder, some pieces may not stay together in a steak shape; this is O.K.) Season pork with salt and pepper and place in a shallow baking dish (a 9-by-13 works best) or resealable plastic bag.

Combine fish sauce, light brown sugar, sambal (if using), garlic and 1/2 cup lime juice in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour half of the mixture over the pork and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the grill, using tongs to turn pork once or twice to make sure all of it is getting enough attention from the marinade. (There’s no need to refrigerate, unless you are working ahead, in which case you should refrigerate until ready to grill.)

If you’re using a charcoal grill, build the fire so it’s screaming hot. This pork is to be cooked hot and fast, so the hotter the better. If you’re using a gas grill, heat it on high. Bring a clean baking dish out to the grill for the pork to rest in after cooking.

Once the grill is sufficiently hot, grill the pork until deeply browned and lightly charred on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side (this will happen faster on a charcoal grill), moving the pork around as needed to prevent excessive flare-ups, which, depending on how fatty your pork is, will happen with varying severity. Grill the lime and orange, if using, cut-side down, until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the pork and lime from the grill and let rest a minute or two in that same large baking dish to catch the juices. Drizzle the remaining lime dressing over the sliced pork and let it rest for a few minutes so the juices mix with the dressing.

Slice the pork about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange rice noodles or rice, if using, on a large platter and top with lettuce, along with some of the mint, cilantro and shallots. Top with sliced pork and remaining herbs and shallots. Spoon the juices from the bottom of the baking dish over everything, and serve with the grilled citrus for squeezing.