Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Asian pork tenderloin

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...
As this song plays in my head, I think of all the last minute minutiae before crossing the Alps with my husband and kids. The car looks like we will be away a month but it really will only be a few days. 

Presents for the family.
Daughter's homework (have we really reached that stage?)
Passports and other papers.
Goodies from Italy.
Son's brand new jacket that doesn't fit anymore for nephew.
Snacks for trip.

Ok, looks like we have the essentials.

In case you are wondering, those are purple carrots

Not only do I get to see my sister and her family, I am also visiting my grandmother, whom I haven't seen in three years, and I will finally be introducing one of her latest great grandchildren to her! It will be nice to see them together. I am sentimental about that kind of thing. Watching this 91-year old lady with beautiful eyes and my son and thinking that we are all here because of her.

And then we will visit the beautiful Christmas market with endless arrays of candles, decoration, wooden figurines for Cribs, chocolate covered strawberries, candied apples and  chocolate galore. We will stuff our bellies with sausages, pretzels, gluhwein and marzipan.

While I am away, I am leaving you with this recipe. The meat is tender, the sauce thick and full of flavor. It is delicious with rice and quick to make. I made it for my mother in law, a wonderful cook, and she loved it so I can guarantee it is a winner.

I read several variations for this recipe on the Internet and ended up playing around a bit with ingredients, using some I had handy and leaving out things I didn't have.

1 or 2 pork tenderloins (the sauce was just enough for the two I made)
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fish sauce (but I read recipes with Worcestershire Sauce and oyster Ssuce)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2  tbsp meat seasoning (instead of the recommended onion powder)
2 cloves minced/grated garlic
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp Sriracha Sauce (garlic chili sauce - use more if you like some heat and don't have little kids)
1/2 tbsp potato starch (corn starch or flour are fine)
1/2 cup broth (chicken, beef or even vegetable stock)

Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar, meat seasoning, garlic, pepper and Sririacha in a large Ziploc bag and then add in the pork tenderloin and rub in well. Put it into the fridge for at least 3 hours (but as with most marinades, the longer the better).

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF. Cover the bottom of an oven proof pan or crock pot with olive oil and sear the meat on all sides until browned. Then cover the meat with the sauce and cook for approximately half an hour. When you take the meat out, let it rest for at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce by pouring the marinade into a sauce pan and adding in the broth/stock. Cook on medium-high whilst adding about half a tablespoon of potato starch dissolved in some warm water. Keep cooking and stirring until the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Serve with rice to really enjoy the sauce!


  1. Have a wonderful time. There's nothing like seeing your family this time of year.

    Asian flavors are among my favorites when it comes to pork. Great recipe this one!

  2. I hope you enjoy your break! Travelling with children sounds like an adventure. I'm glad you get to see your grandmother. I don't see enough of mine, and she's so precious to me.

  3. Good luck in the car, it should be a beautiful trip, although for me it's never easy in the car with Roman.
    Love the look of this Asian pork loin.
    How lovely, you're completely right, none of you would be there if it hadn't been for your grandmother. I'm sure she'll adore meeting your son.

  4. Have an absolutely amazing time - sounds like you're well prepared! The Christmas market sounds absolutely wonderful too...I'm very jealous :-)

  5. Have a FANTASTIC time! My parents arrived yesterday night and are still jet lagged but we are all happy, as I am sure you guys are!!! :-)))

    BTW, I have a few awards waiting for you here: !!!

  6. You make me envious with your trips! Cannot wait to be in Italy in a week and go to the alps after New Year... Hope you have a fantastic trip!

    That tenderloin looks delicious!

  7. MLEK - it was lovely to be with family. And this is a great recipe for company.
    LaCR - travelling with kids is always a bit of a question mark, but ours are used to it and are generally very good. And yes, grandparents are precious, they are our heritage. There is so much to learn from them.
    Nicole - sounds like you had a wonderful grandmother...she left you great recipes too! My kids, despite being little monsters sometimes like all children, are incredibly good in the car and I thank my lucky stars for it. I know how fortunate I am.
    LL - I took a million pics of the Xmas markets, for you too. Will post them asap.
    Manu - you must be so excited to have your parents there, wow! Thank you so much for your award. I am a little delayed in reading all the new posts out, but will check it out immediately!
    Pola - wow, we will be so close. I will actually be in the alps too over the Xmas season. Maybe our paths will cross and we won't even know...

  8. What a great recipe...what a great post! I hope you had an amazing time with your family. Traveling can be a challenge this time of year, but it seems like you've got it covered! I can't wait to try this at my own holiday feasts with family.

  9. Ciao Nuts, grazie per la visita, che ricambio volentieri... soprattutto trovando una bella ricetta come questa! A me piace il filetto di maiale e provo a cucinarlo in maniera sempre nuova (quello che mi viene meglio è nel tegame, al sangiovese). La versione Asian mi sembra irresistibile e la devo fare, anche se non so se troverò Sriracha Sauce... Ho anche una domanda: cos'è il meat seasoning? Un tipo specifico di insaporitore o un generico pesto di erbe e sale? Un caro saluto

  10. Monet - it was really great to see my family. Thanks
    Lilla - Ciao! Devo andare subito a vedere se scovo la tua ricetta al sangiovese, mmmmh. La sriracha la trovi nei supermercatini asiatici, io l'ho comprata qui a Milano. Comunque, se non la trovi puoi pestare in un mortaio dell'aglio con peperoncino. Ne basta un pochino per non essere troppo invasivo. Per meat seasoning intendevo qualsiasi tipo di insaporitore per carni, quelli già pronti o un mix che ti fai da sola a casa con sale e erbe/spezie.

  11. My dear, I'm SO glad you and your partner came to the party last night! Thank you, really, for joining us!

  12. Ciaoo e buon anno!! Finalmente ho preparato il filetto all'orientale, anche se a forza di sostituzioni mi sa che ha perso la sua impronta asiatica... allora: al posto dell'olio di sesamo ho usato l'olio di girasole, al posto della salsa di pesce la Worcestershire sauce e semplice aglio e peperoncino in sostituzione alla Sriracha... ho imbroccato solo meat seasoning (che era già una variante, se ho capito bene) e salsa di soia!!É che ho avuto un po' di complicanze di fine anno: esame di guida, bimba con la febbre... comunque è venuto buonissimo!! E sabato dovrei riuscire a fare un salto a questo mega Asian market dove fare rifornimento per questa e altre ricette :)


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