Pork Tenderloin My latest request, a quick and easy entrée for a weekend get together. The hostess who called knew everyone liked and ate pork tenderloin, but she wanted to step-up a recipe over one of the pre-seasoned versions...

Pork Tenderloin
Pork Tenderloin

My latest request, a quick and easy entrée for a weekend get together. The hostess who called knew everyone liked and ate pork tenderloin, but she wanted to step-up a recipe over one of the pre-seasoned versions you can find in the grocery store.  This is a recipe that I had fixed for years and almost forgot about as a favorite and crowd pleaser.  The marinated Asian flavors really make an interesting complement to the pork.  I will suggest carrying this off with an Asian Menu including serving these tenderloins on a bed of basmati rice, offering as a quick and easy side some sautéed bok choy with onions, garlic and a bit of soy sauce, or maybe some sugar snap peas and finishing with a favorite Napa cabbage salad.

Asian Pork Tenderloin served on Rice
Asian Pork Tenderloin served on Rice

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of soy sauce, I prefer to use low-sodium
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger, this is a dry spice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 – 6 garlic cloves minced, more if you like garlic
  • 2 pork tenderloins, most packages come two per package.  This will be about 2 pounds of meat.

Directions:

  1. In a gallon-sized sealed plastic bag, combine the first five ingredients above.  Mix well. You can also whisk this in a bowl, but I have learned to skip this step and just mix in the plastic bag.  Then, add the pork tenderloin that you have cleaned and prepared.  Remove any excess fat or silver skin.  Leave this tenderloin whole for the marinating and grilling process.
  2. Store this meat in the fridge on a small tray at least overnight.  It can be left to marinate for up to 48 hours.  Continually turn the plastic bag for best results
  3. When ready to grill, drain the marinade, but reserve this liquid to create a finishing sauce.  Before you panic, read on!
  4. Boil down the reserve marinate for at least 25 minutes.   Stirring occasionally.  After at least 20 minutes, you can taste for seasonings adding about ¼ - ½ cup of  water if too strong.  I rarely add any water here, we like the punch of flavor.
  5. Grill the tenderloin over hot coals or a gas grill set on medium high.
  6. Grill each side about 6 minutes for medium and 7 – 8 minutes for well done.  If you are going to hold this in the oven before serving, grill only about 6 minutes per side.
  7. You can bake this in an oven, but the time and effort for the grilling flavors make this dish even better.   Bake at 375 until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.
  8. Let stand at least 10 minutes before carving.  Suggested cut is bias slices.
  9. Then stack these meat slices in a glass serving dish.  If you are going to immediately serve this sauce with the reserved marinade that you have boiled down.
  10. If you are prepping the meats in advance, I would prep the serving plate with my sliced meats and park in the fridge until ready to re-heat.  At this point, I would boil the reserved marinade and top before re-warming.

Glazed Pork Fillet
Glazed Pork Fillet

Finished Glazed Pork Fillet

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve the slices of pork on top of a bed of rice.  Basmati would be my preference.
  • Use any of the remains of the “boiled marinade” as added sauce.
  • Another favorite side option would be a simple sauté of sliced onions in peanut oil, adding a few cloves of minced garlic then finishing with a head or two of bok choy chopped and sautéed with the onions and garlic.  Finish this with a tablespoon of soy sauce.
  • Or maybe, a sauté of sugar snap peas in peanut oil.  Tossed with some sesame seeds as a finishing.
  • Napa Cabbage Salad is a family favorite with this menu.

Napa Cabbage
Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Napa cabbage, shredded.
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 3 ounce bag of Ramen noodles, broken into small pieces.  You can crush these in the bag if you proceed carefully!
  • ¾ cup of chopped or sliced almonds

Optional toppings:

  • A bunch of green scallion onions chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • A small can of Mandarin oranges, drained.   We often use two cans as this is a popular addition to this salad here.

Napa Salad
Napa Salad

Directions:

  1. Shred the Napa Cabbage into a large bowl. My preference is to use the greens over the tough ribs on the individual leaves of cabbage.  I tend to cut out the ribs and then shred the greens. A large head of Napa might make two dinner salads.  Store any shredded greens in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel for the best results.
  2. Create the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil, soy sauce and sugar.  This will store well in the fridge.  The original recipe I had also used the “flavor package” from the Ramen Noodles, but I have omitted this addition as it is high in sodium.
  3. Crust the Ramen noodles and chop the almonds.  You can dry toast the noodles and almonds in a pan or sauté with about ¼ cup of melted butter.  (The sauté method is the preference here at this house).  Allow this to cool before you top the salad as this will wilt the salad quickly.
  4. Toss the dressing over the Napa cabbage then add any toppings such as the onions and oranges and then top with the buttered almonds and Ramen noodles.

Again, this Asian influenced dinner is easy to prepare, very flavorful and a welcomed break for a casual dinner. I often will grill this in the morning and slice and arrange in a serving platter.  Allowing this to rest in the fridge until I am ready to re-warm for serving. I would then wait on “boiling down” the marinade until I was ready to warm this in the oven to aid in the heating process. I am a fan of make-ahead wherever possible.

**  This original recipe was for Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches which are also very good served on small slider rolls. We have used this beautiful presentation of the Grilled Pork on many a buffet tables over the years.