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.
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!
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- 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.
This is so easy and delicious. It is one of my favorite weeknight dinners.
I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Cherie!
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!
Yay! I’m thrilled your family has been enjoying the recipe, Cherie!
I use sugar snaps instead of asparagus.
Tasty and delicious!
YUM! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Isabelle!
A new fav in my books. Tasty, colourful and delicious.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Patricia!
Serviced with chili garlic sauce, yum!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Michelle!
So easy to make and delicious! My husband and kids loved it!
I’m thrilled to read this, Pamela!
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!
You are so welcome! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe!
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 ;)
Yessss! So thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe, Jenna!
Love this amazing recipe. It is one of my favourites for easy weeknight meals or for guests, who always love it!
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Catherine!
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!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Kimmy!
Really good recipe. I did add 1 tbsp Shao Xing wine and a few dashes of regular soy sauce to the marinade.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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.
You are so welcome, Pat! I’m thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe!
A new household favorite! Also works really well with green beans when asparagus is out of season.
Great swap, Lisa! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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!
AMAZING! So thrilled to hear this, Lori!
Made it tonite. Loved it. Made no changes. Served it over cauliflower rice. Will definitely make again!
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Judy!
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!
I’m so glad to hear this!
It was indeed quick and delicious and Insta worthy
Woohoo! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Joanne!
One of my favourites!!
Woohoo! Thrilled to hear this, Catherine!
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
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!
Loved your recipe!