Quick Black Pepper Pork

from 18 votes

Transform pork tenderloin into a takeout-fakeout feast with an easy and fresh recipe for Quick Black Pepper Pork.

Quick Black Pepper Pork in skillet

If you’ve tuned in to Instagram Stories, you’ll know that pork tenderloin makes a weekly appearance at our house. It’s seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then roasted and glazed with my go-to Thai sweet chili sauce for one seriously lip-smacking transformation from humble “other white meat” to family favorite entrée.

My dear Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but you have some serious competition in the dinner department. And we all have Justin Chapple to thank for putting the “tender” in “tenderloin!”

Just Cook It cookbook by Justin Chapple

Justin and I met awhile back at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival and I’ve been a fan of his fresh and approachable take on cuisine ever since. His recently released cookbook, Just Cook It! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) serves up 145 recipes with an emphasis on ease, from Caramelized Peach French Toast Casserole and Chicken Enchilada Stacks to Ravioli Lasagna and Free-Form Apple Tart.

As a working mom of two delicious little boys ages 2 and under, you better believe that I am all for meals that are easy, fast, fresh and totally family-friendly.

Pork tenderloin in bowl with cornstarch, black pepper and a pinch of salt

But in all my years of cooking, never had I ever thought of slicing a pork tenderloin lengthwise then into small pieces before cooking it. Mind legit blown.

The result is the most tender pork I have ever tasted—in a restaurant or in my home kitchen. Toss in some crisp asparagus and a hearty portion of freshly cracked black pepper and you have a 30-minute meal that tantalizes your taste buds and takes the stress out of dinner prep.

Read on for the recipe (and complete your feast with my favorite Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Pineapple) then grab a copy of Justin’s book and discover 144 more ways to just cook it!

Quick Black Pepper Pork with asparagus in skillet

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Main Course

Quick Black Pepper Pork

Transform pork tenderloin into a takeout-fakeout feast with an easy and fresh recipe for Quick Black Pepper Pork.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 18 votes
Quick Black Pepper Pork in skillet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Sliced scallions, for garnishing
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnishing


  • Using a sharp knife, cut the pork tenderloin in half lengthwise then cut it crosswise into thin slices.
  • In a large bowl, mix the pork with the soy sauce, cornstarch, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the pork and spread it into an even layer. Cook the pork, undisturbed, until it is browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then continue cooking the pork while stirring for an additional 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and red the heat to medium-high. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Return the pork to the pan and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. 
  • Serve the pork garnished with sliced scallions and sesame seeds. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 461mg, Potassium: 716mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 855IU, Vitamin C: 6.4mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 3.9mg


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Recipe from Just Cook It! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018). Reprinted with permission from author Justin Chapple.

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  1. 5 stars
    My family and I love this recipe. It is fast, easy and delicious. Don’t be afraid of the amount of pepper. It is perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    OH, such a good recipe! I made it last week and substituted home-grown green beans and my family loved it. I am making it again today as one of my granddaughters said, ” Grandma, this is my favorite – would you make it again?”
    Thank you for this great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for my husband and he was blown away! I did not tell him that this was one of the easiest and quickest recipes ever – I’ll just keep pretending that I slaved over it ;)

  4. Love this amazing recipe. It is one of my favourites for easy weeknight meals or for guests, who always love it!

  5. 5 stars
    This very simple black pepper pork recipe is amazing! I personally added a dash of Shaoxing wine and Worcestershire sauce and it tastes amazing! Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Really good recipe. I did add 1 tbsp Shao Xing wine and a few dashes of regular soy sauce to the marinade.

  7. 5 stars
    I loved how tasty this was- the fact that it was so easy was just a bonus!
    Made it as directed – my stove doesn’t listen to times as well as the recipe stated but 5 minutes between friends…right? All I know is my husband kept going on and on about it and asked me to keep it ‘on the list’ – served it with mashed potatoes and pork gravy (pkg but don’t tell). Thanks for sharing.

  8. 5 stars
    Definitely a winner! Made it last week for the first time and enjoyed it so much I’m making it again today!
    So easy and so much flavor!

  9. 5 stars
    Made it tonite. Loved it. Made no changes. Served it over cauliflower rice. Will definitely make again!

  10. 5 stars
    While I made some substitutions on the veggies since my household isn’t a fan of asparagus, the base recipe is quick and delicious! The whole family enjoyed!

  11. Hi…just wondering in the recipe section for cooking the slices of pork….that word later sb layer? And do you turn the slices and brown the other side ….and also.,is the marinade added to the pan for cooking

    1. Thanks for catching that typo, Janis! For the pork, as the directions above state: Cook the pork, undisturbed, until it is browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then continue cooking the pork while stirring for an additional 2 minutes. Enjoy!