For my birthday we went out for a nice dinner and I ordered a dish that had the most amazing glaze. It was acidic and salty and just slightly sweet. Then the whole thing was topped off with these unexpectedly delicious, tangy pickled cucumbers. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I recreated it in my own kitchen. And it wasn’t, I think I waited all of 2 days before giving it a try. I was absolutely thrilled with the results!!
At the restaurant the glaze was used on salmon, which I absolutely love! But, the salmon at the store looked sketchy (at best) and I didn’t want to have to wait. I did some brainstorming about what other meat would complement a glaze like this. I finally decided on pork tenderloin. However, I think this glaze could really be universal. Obviously it would be delicious on salmon and pork, but it would also be great with shrimp or even chicken. If you give it a try on other types of meat, let me know how they turn out!
Soy sauce and citrus juice make the base for this glaze. I went for the trifecta and used lemon, lime, and orange juice. To balance out the salt and acid I added brown sugar. Finally I rounded out the flavors with some ginger and garlic. Now, you might be tempted to just skip the pickled cucumbers. I’m telling you, you would be doing your tastebuds a disservice by doing that. The crisp, cool cucumbers are the perfect topping for this glaze. I’m not sure it would even be the same without it! Plus, they are super simple and could even be made the night before or the morning of. So make sure you give them a try!
Citrus and Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin
1/3 cup citrus juice (juice from one lime, 1 lemon, and about 2 Tbsp orange juice)
Zest from one lime
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1-2 tsp freshly grated ginger*
fresh cracked pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1 1/2 lb Pork tenderloin
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
*I keep my ginger in the freezer and whenever I need some, I pull it out of the freezer and just grate it right off of the frozen chunk!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a glass measuring cup, whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze (citrus juice through red pepper flakes). Set aside.
Season the pork tenderloin with pepper. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, carefully add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork tenderloin and brown each side for about 2 minutes. Pour all of the glaze over the pork. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the pork and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook until the meat thermometer reads 145 degrees (this usually takes 15-20 minutes (or less!), but use your thermometer to be sure). Feel free to baste the pork with the glaze once or twice during cooking. Remove from the oven, transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. While the pork is resting, put the pan back on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high again. Bring to a low-boil and let reduce down and thicken, then remove from heat. Slice the pork and return to the pan, stir to coat with glaze.*
Serve with rice, pickled cucumbers, and edamame.
*Remember to be careful as you’re handling the skillet! It will be hot from the oven. Not that I’ve ever accidentally grabbed the handle and burnt my hand before…. Nope, never. I always remember to use an oven mitt.
Sunny Side Up Original
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced (the kind with the plastic wrap around it)
2 tsp salt, for sprinkling
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Sprinkle the cucumber slices with salt and let rest for about 15 minutes to draw the moisture out. Thoroughly rinse off the salt with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
In a bowl that has a lid, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add the cucumbers and stir to coat. Put the lid on the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serve over top of glazed pork or along side any Asian inspired dinner (especially spicy dishes!)!
Adapted from Food.com
A few more pork tenderloin ideas!
Island Pork Tenderloin
BBQ Pork Tenderloin Wraps
Zesty Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic-Strawberry Sauce