Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chinese/Asian-Style Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Asian Slaw

Last week, our part of California got hit with a heatwave. For us, that's temps in the 90's to low 100's. I would wilt in parts of the country where really hot temps are considered "normal"-- Arizona, Texas, Florida... when I'm hot, I'm lethargic.  Very few homes, on the Monterey Peninsula,  have air-conditioners.  That's because the Pacific Ocean breeze and coastal fog usually gives us a perfect climate of average temps in the mid-70's. 

Speaking of lethargic--I'm still battling a nagging case of fatigue, which means that cooking/baking and blogging has taken a little bit of a break.  Coming home to a house that has internal temps of 86 and up didn't perk me up, much. So, we resorted to firing up the gas grill and throwing on chicken and veggies-- and cooling off with margaritas. I know, tough, huh?

Fortunately, the high pressure system has moved on, and the temps are now in the comfortable 60's and 70's.  Memorial weekend becomes the kick start for barbeques, and I'm so looking forward to spending weekends in our backyard. My husband has earned my admiration with his grilling skills.

We don't grill pork tenderloin often, though we love it. Because this cut of meat is so low in fat, it can easily dry out, if overcooked.  I saw this recipe on a recorded episode of "Cook's Country" (on one of those lethargic hot nights, when I was almost comatose).   The idea behind this recipe is to try and replicate the flavor of Chinese boneless style spare ribs. 

Cook's Country turns to pork tenderloins, that are butterflied, and pounded until thin.  Since I was cooking for just the two of us, I "halved" the recipe ingredients. NOTE: Remove the silver skin but sliding a knife underneath and carefully cutting it, trying not to remove too much pork.

I got totally sucked into this episode, because of the marinade and barbeque sauce, and I had all of the ingredients! The marinade had ingredients of soy sauce, apricot preserves, garlic, freshly minced ginger, hoison sauce, dry sherry, toasted sesame oil, Chinese Five-Spice and black pepper.  A portion of the marinade is set aside, to create the sauce that will "lacquer" the pork tenderloin.

To the reserved marinade, ketchup and molasses is added, and then cooked until reduced and thickened.

The pork tenderloion marinated for about an hour, while I prepped the sauce and, at the last moment, I decided to make an Asian-Style Slaw to complement this recipe. I didn't plan on blogging this cole slaw, but it turned out to be so tasty, that I had to share it with y'all!

For the dressing, I used fresh lime juice, a splash of fish sauce (I know, it sound scary, but it's good), sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and toasted sesame seed oil.  I added  sliced cabbage (actually I used cole slaw mix, from Trader Joe's), sliced bell peppers, sliced green onion, peanuts and cilantro. (Recipe also slightly adapted from Cook's Country August 2007.)

I also started some sticky rice going...

So, now, Craig takes over. The pork tenderloin has been wiped dry, and rubbed with a little vegetable oil. He grilled it on one side, for about 2 minutes...

He flipped the tenderloin every two minutes, until the internal temperature reached 140F. I reserved about 1/3 of the sauce for later.

Craig starts to lacquer the pork tenderloin...

The glaze looks and smells wonderful-- I can smell the garlic and ginger!

My mouth was watering with anticipation.

My husband yanked some home grown cilantro from our herb garden, which I chopped up and added to the slaw. It was time to eat.

Once the tenderloins were removed from the grill, the reserved glazed was brushed on...

The pork was covered with foil to rest for 5 minutes. Moi? I was poised and ready, and very hungry!

TASTING NOTES:  There isn't a plated shot of the thin slices of pork tenderloin, mound of sticky rice and delicious cole slaw.  Well, I took a couple, but I was pretty haphazard with my photography, and I didn't like the way they turned out. Trust me-- this dinner was a total success. First, let's talk about the pork.  This didn't exactly taste like the Chinese spare ribs I've had in China Town, San Francisco. But, that's minor. The Asian flavors all worked, and I absolutely loved the sauce!  The pork tenderloin was tender, with just a little bit of pink in the middle, bordering almost well done. 

The Asian Cole Slaw was the biggest surprise! I didn't make a lot of the slaw, but I had to quickly write down the recipe, so I could make this again. Craig raved about the slaw.

In my book, these recipes earned five stars. My husband says four on the pork, but he's partial to his own grilled Baby Back Ribs (which are pretty good, I must say). We had a lot of leftovers, which will become fried rice. At least, that's the plan. Little kitchen mice might get into them during the night-- we shall see.

I'm in the last two weeks of school, before our students head on to their newest chapters of their young adult lives. I work three weeks longer, to close down the school, and get it ready for the Fall. I'm so excited to see all kinds of locally grown summer fruits in our grocery store, and I'm looking forward to finding new grilling recipes.  I truly hope that our drought will end, soon, and our fire season won't be too much for our firefighters.

Both printable recipe cards are at the end of this post.

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Big Dude said...

I've never butterflied a tenderloin except for stuffing but it looks like a great way to get more even cooking and to have more area for the sauce. The fist shot made me instantly hungry.

Lynn said...

This looks delicious! I haven't BBQ'd yet this year but this looks like a great recipe to start with, thanks for sharing it.

Joan Nova said...

I saw the photos on FB and drooled. Well done!

bellini said...

Cooling off with marguerites, grilling ribs and making Asian slaw sounds good to me Debby.

Mom24 said...

The link for the baby backs is not working for me.

This looks wonderful. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, you did it again. We must share some DNA. I've been thinking about making this "Chinese BBQ Pork" again after some years without. And then you publish just the formula that I need. It looks wonderful and I'm sure wit will exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you,

Debby Foodiewife said...

Whoops, Mom24. I fixed the link. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, Debby. I sure hope that your blog allows double dipping in comments. I'll try.
This tenderloin recipe is not exactly "Asian Style Ribs" and not exactly "Asian Style BBQ Pork," but it IS the edition that we are after. Rested and sliced, the picture won 3 or 3 votes. Whether sliced warm, slightly warmed and sliced (mustard and sesame seeds?) or used in stir-fry or fried rice, this is want we want. Older trials of BBQ Pork were over cooked before I had a quick-read thermometer; I think I'd pull the split tenderloin at 125-130 and let it finish on its own. We're missing two essentials, so this will have to wait a week, but it is ON the project list. modest slices with rice, veggies (or the slaw) and leftover meat for many other uses - including our hot&sour soup - I'm getting pestered. The rules remain intact: no more that one town trip per week. Period. And the pressure is one. This is a keeper, Debby and thank you. -C.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Just after the quad picture, did you mean 'pork,' not the published 'chicken?'
This could also work for some kinds of chicken, but I think we were talking about pork... -C.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

It all looks fantastic. I love Asian style pork dishes. I was obsessed with roast pork in Chinese restaurants when I was a kid. The slaw looks great too. I wish you had put up the photo of the full plate. I am not someone who will ever criticize anyone else's food photos when mine are notoriously bad.

Debby Foodiewife said...

@Cedar Glen, thank you for pointing out my typo. I fixed it....yes, the PORK marinated! I appreciate your bringing that to my attention. Fixed!