A few months ago, I shared one of my favorite recipes for a brown sugar spiced pork tenderloin and just the thought of it has my mouth watering, but this delightful version with an Asian-flavored twist ranks right up there in deliciousness.
What I love about pork tenderloin is that it is so meltingly juicy and tender and with the right seasonings, the flavor can skyrocket to other-worldly proportions. In this recipe, the pork is briefly marinated and then roasted in the oven. An effortless glaze (the same ingredients for the marinade, actually!) is boiled on the stove and once the pork is cooked, rests for a few minutes, and is sliced – the tasty meat is drizzled with the soy-sugar glaze and the entire combination is at once simple, exotic and elegant.
While pork tenderloin can sometimes be a pricier cut of meat, when I find it on sale, I stock up and store in the freezer just for recipes like this. (By the way, I served this alongside a should-be-tasty recipe for rice pilaf, pictured with the pork, but don’t bother asking for the recipe, it was actually terribly frightening. However, if you are looking for other ideas, the pork would be delicious with this or this or this.)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger (see a grating ginger how-to here)
- 3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
- 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat and any thin silver skin
- 1 scallion (green onion), white and green parts, thinly sliced for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a small roasting pan (or use a 9X13-inch baking dish) with foil and lightly oil the foil. This is important because the glaze has a high sugar content and will scorch during roasting.
- Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon ginger, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper in a self-sealing plastic bag and mix to dissolve the sugar. Add the pork tenderloins and close the bag. Toss the meat in the bag to coat it with the marinade. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
- Remove the pork tenderloins from the marinade and place in the roasting pan. Drizzle about half of the marinade over the pork. Discard the remaining marinade. Roast for 15 minutes. Baste the pork with the marinade in the roasting pan. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer reads 150-155, about 25 minutes more. The marinade will eventually thicken and scorch, but the foil will protect the pan, so don’t worry. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.
- While the pork is resting, bring the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon ginger, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan.
- Cut the roast pork crosswise on a slight diagonal into thin slices and arrange the overlapping slices on a platter. Drizzle the hot marinade over the pork, sprinkle with the scallion, and serve immediately.
Recipe Source: adapted from Kitchen Life by Art Smith