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Quick Black Pepper Pork
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Transform pork tenderloin into a takeout-fakeout feast with an easy and fresh recipe for Quick Black Pepper Pork.
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!”
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.
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.
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Quick Black Pepper Pork
- 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.
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Recipe from Just Cook It! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018). Reprinted with permission from author Justin Chapple.
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