Friday, 3 March 2017

Sesame and Cashew Pork Tenderloin

Finally, a chance to spend time cooking again...our move is over, and I have time to think about making something interesting for dinner! I went and bought a lot of groceries the first day here (I had managed to deplete most staples, as well as empty the fridge and freezer before our move). There are still things to use up though, and there always will be, which is a challenge I enjoy.

I had some sesame seeds, a tiny bit of brown sugar and some teriyaki marinade that I used in this, along with all the fresh ingredients.

I used the sesame seeds and marinade to make a marinade, which also became the sauce for the noodles. A pack of mulit-coloured bell peppers caught my eye in the store, so I used red, yellow and orange with some snow peas for even more colour.

Start off by dry roasting the sesame seeds, in a small frying pan on the stovetop:

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Watch them carefully, stir them often, and remove them from the heat when they are golden.

To make the marinade, place the toasted sesame seeds in a blender, along with:

2 green onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 pinches of chili flakes
3 tablespoons teriyaki marinade
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Set aside until needed.

Cut diagonal slits into the pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2" apart, and ending about 1/2" from the other do not want to cut right through the pork.

Place the pork into a resealable plastic bag, along with the sesame marinade, making sure that the marinade gets into all of the slits you have made.

Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

To cook the pork, heat the oven to 375F. Remove the pork from the marinade, gently scraping off the excess. Reserve the marinade.

In a hot pan, sear the pork on all sides.

Place the pan into the oven and cook until the pork is fully cooked.

Remove and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

To make the stirfried noodles, and vegetables, cook steam fried noodles while the pork is in the oven. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a hot wok, using some vegetable oil, stir fry:

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 orange pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced snow peas
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced

Add the cooked and drained noodles.

Make a well in the centre of the noodles and vegetables.


the reserved marinade
1 tablespoon teriyaki marinade
2 - 4 tablespoons reserved noodle cooking water


1/2 cup roasted cashews

Cook over high heat for another couple of minutes, making sure that the reserved marinade comes to a boil before it is mixed into the noodles. Serve the slcied pork on top of the stir fried noodles, vegetables and cashews.

  • The pork can be cooked on the bbq and served with salad in the summer...crisp fresh greens, toasted cashews, sliced fresh mango. Consider cubing it, and making skewers as an alternative to whole pork tenderloin.
  • Making the slits in the pork allows the marinade to get into the centre of the meat as well as on the outside, but it is not essential. If you are pressed for time and want to speed up the marinating process, it will help, and the pork can be marinated for about 4 hours instead of overnight.
  • I made a well in the centre of the noodles before adding the reserved marinade so that it would be in the hottest part of the wok and come to a boil immediately. This is important if you are using a marinade from raw meat.
  • Add as little or as much reserved noodle boiling water as you like to have the sauce at a consistency that suits you.
  • If you do not have teriyaki marinade (I bought some a while back and am trying to use it up!) substitute soy sauce. Depending on the salt content of your soy sauce, you may need to increase the amount of sugar used, and/or add a bit of cold water to the marinade.
  • The roasted cashews add crunch, but can be pureed along with the rest of the marinade, to give a creamier, richer sauce, similar to peanut sauce.
  • The marinade can also be used for chicken thighs or breasts.

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