Monday, March 24, 2014

Grilled Asian Five-Spice Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro

These Asian-inspired pork tenderloin grill up wonderfully tender and flavourful, and take only minutes to prepare. Chinese five-spice powder is an aromatic blend of spices that have the five different flavours: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty. For this recipe, the five-spice, brown sugar, minced garlic and salt are turned into a rub for the pork. After grilling, the tenderloin is tossed with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, fresh ginger and crushed red pepper, then sprinkled with freshly chopped cilantro. Full flavoured and delightfully robust, the five-spice marinade gives the meat a real kick without being too hot. Absolutely delicious, Grilled Five-Spice Pork Tenderloin presents beautifully too! To round out the meal, you could serve the grilled pork with some steamed jasmine rice, a crunchy Asian slaw and cold Soba noodles.

Grilled Five-Spice Pork Tenderloin with Soy-Ginger Sauce & Cilantro
Serves six

2 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2-pounds
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plu more for the grill
3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix the five-spice powder, 1 tbsp of the sugar, garlic and the salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes and remaining 1 tsp sugar. Put the pork tenderloin in a shallow pan, or plastic baggie, and drizzle with the vegetable oil, tossing to coat evenly. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the pork, then toss and rub to coat thoroughly. The pork can be made ahead up this point and refrigerated until needed.

On an outdoor grill: Grill the on the BBQ over medium heat until one side has dark grill marks, about 8-10 minutes. Turn and continue to grill until well marked on the other sides and cooked through.

In the oven: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the tenderloin on a foil lined baking sheet and cook for 25-50 minutes, until the pork is browned and cooked through.

Move the tenderloin to a serving dish and slice into thick 1/2-inch pieces. Drizzle with about half of the soy mixture, sprinkle with the cilantro, and toss to coat. Let rest 4 to 5 minutes, tossing once or twice. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with the remaining soy mixture passed at the table.