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~ Asian Honey-Sesame Pork w/Garlic-Ginger Sauce~

PICT1410If you like Asian food you are going to love this recipe for pork tenderloins.  I liked it so much, I developed two other recipes to serve with it, turning it into one super-delicious Asian feast.   If you like Asian food as much as I do, I'm pretty sure this trio is going to be in your recipe file too:

~ Asian Honey-Sesame Pork w/Garlic-Ginger Sauce ~, found in Categories 3, 4 & 13

~ Mel's Asian-Style Vegetable Saute ~, found in Categories 4 & 13

~ Mel's "Jazzed Up" Jasmine Rice & Pineapple ~, found in Catelories 4 & 13

About 13-14 years ago, my then new nextdoor neighbor Gabriella's mother and father were visiting  she and her husband Bill.  Gabriella invited Joe and I to dinner to meet her parents: Gizella and Tibor.  It was Springtime, because I remember taking a bouquet of tulips to them and I'm pretty sure it was around Easter, because Gizella and I got into quite a discussion about making Pysanky (the traditional and intricately designed Easter eggs of Russia).  In the early 1950's, Gizella and Tebor immigrated to the United States from Hungary, settled in Connecticut and raised their family.  They were both masterful gardeners and Gizella was also a masterful cook. That evening, Gizella and Gabriella served these marvelous pork tenderloins for dinner and a day or two later, Gabriella wrote down and shared her mother's recipe with me!

These tenderloins are delicious, simple to make, and with no added prep or cooking time, you can make enough of them to have leftover to slice for fabulous sandwiches or dice for tossing into an Asian salad.  I always purchase the small, vacuum packed tenderloins that come two-to-a-pack with each tenderloin weighing in at about 1 pound.  As with all vacuum-packed meat, once I remove it from the package, I like to rinse it under cold, running water and pat in dry in paper towels before proceeding with the recipe at hand.  In my house, I plan on one tenderloin feeding three normal people or two hungry, male college students.  That being said, six tenderloins fit perfectly on a standard-size 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan, so I always make six, with leftovers being my goal, and I advise you to do the same.  You can thank me later!

















6  small, whole pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each

6-8  tablespoons minced garlic cloves, about 3-4 ounces

6-8  tablespoons minced, fresh ginger, about 3-4 ounces, peeled and coarsely chopped

1  cup Golden Mountain seasoning soy sauce, or Thai seasoning soy sauce

2  tablespoons sesame oil

2  cups honey, about 24 ounces

1/2  cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

6-8 tablespoons sesame seeds

PICT1240 PICT1252~ Step 1.  In a mini-or small size food processor, place the garlic cloves.  Using a series of 15-20 rapid on-off pulses, mince the garlic.

Place the minced garlic in a 2-gallon size food storage bag.

~ Step 2.  Repeat this process with the peeled and coarsely chopped ginger.

Place the minced ginger in the food storage bag with the garlic.

Note:  If you do not have a mini- or small-sized food processor, do not be inclined to mince the garlic and ginger together (at the same time) in a larger one.  To start with, their textures are different, but more importantly, in my opinion:  When they are processed together, they lose their "flavor identities" and turn into one odd tasting mess!

PICT1261~ Step 3.  Measure and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and brown sugar to the bag with the garlic and ginger.

Using your fingertips on the outside of the bag, "squish" the bag until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated.  

You have just made the marinade!



~ Step 4.  Add all six of the tenderloins to the bag.  Seal the bag and place it in a large bowl, preferably one deep enough to raise the level of the marinade to cover the tenderloins completely.

Marinate the tenderloins in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.  I personally think overnight is best. Remove from refrigerator 1-2 hours prior to baking the tenderloins.

PICT1325 ~ Step 5.  Line a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan with a piece of wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Line the foil with a sheet of 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" parchment paper.  If you do not have parchment paper, spray the foil with no-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds evenly over the parchment paper.

PICT1328 ~ Step 6.  Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, shaking each one gently, to allow excess marinade and chunks of garlic/ginger to drop back into the bag.  Place tenderloins, side-by-side, on baking pan.  Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over all.

~ Step 7.  Bake tenderloins on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven, about 30-35 minutes, or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.  I always use an instant-read meat thermometer and remove them when they have reached 138-140 degrees.  Note:  When the tenderloins are removed from the oven, they will be covered with foil and allowed to rest for 10-15 minutes, during which time carryover heat will continue to cook them, so for perfect results, I suggest you do this my way.  While the tenderloins are roasting:

PICT1340 ~ Step 8.  Pour all of the marinade from the bag into a 3 1/2 quart chef's pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Adjust heat to simmer rapidly, until the mixture is reduced slightly, about 10-12 minutes.  During this time:  Carefully regulate and pay very close attention to the heat under the simmering sauce as this mixture can and will boil over very quickly.

PICT1350 ~ Step 9.  Turn the heat off and allow the bubbles to subside.  The sauce should be golden brown, glistening and slightly thickened (this is a sauce not a gravy).  Go ahead, give it a taste.  Delish!

Cover and let sit on still warm stovetop until tenderloins are roasted and rested as directed above.  Briefly reheat sauce at serving time.

PICT1344 ~ Step 10.  The tenderloins have been removed from the oven, rested (according to the directions above) and are now ready to slice:






~ Step 11.  You can slice the tenderloins as thick or as thin as you like.  Personally I think they are at their best sliced very thin, 1/4"-thick or less.  

This being said, no matter what thickness you prefer...






... Be sure to hold your knife at a 30 degree angle while slicing.  Use long, smooth strokes and Do not "saw"!





PICT1412Asian Honey-Sesame Pork w/Garlic-Ginger Sauce:  Recipe yields 6-8 servings plus leftovers for 6-8 servings and apprimately 4 cups of sauce.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; mini- or small food processor; 2-gallon size food storage bag; 1-cup measuring container; large, deep bowl; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; aluminum foil; parchment paper; 3 1/2-quart chef's pan w/straight, deep sides & lid; instant-read meat thermometer; sauce ladle

PICT1413 PICT1312Cook's Note: Leftovers of both the tenderloins and the sauce are delicious reheated or even eaten cold.  I've showed you how to serve them today as an entree, with my recipes for Asian Vegetable Saute and "Jazzed Up" Jasmine Rice & Pineapple for accompaniments (both pictured here).  Both of these recipes go great with a myriad of Asian fare!  

Another delicious way to serve them is on a hot sandwich.  Slice warm tenderloins and place the slices in a bowl.  Ladle just enough of warm sauce over the top to coat the sliced meat when tossed with a fork.  Place on soft-textured sesame seed rolls and enjoy!  Whether you are serving these delicious tenderloins as an entree or a sandwich, ladle some sauce into a sauceboat and serve it tableside for dipping or drizzling!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)


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