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Hoisin-and-Maple-Glazed Roast Pork Tenderloin


Serves 4 to 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 146

This recipe is based on the Chinese barbecued pork called char su, with a glaze developed by my wife, Nancy, who is chef/owner of Boulevard in San Francisco. To help keep the meat juicy during roasting, the tenderloins get a light salt brine. For best results, brine the pork for at least 6 hours.

For the brine
  • 3 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Scotch
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total)
For the glaze
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Scotch
  • 2 tsp. Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Brine the pork

In a bowl just large enough to hold the tenderloins, combine the salt and sugar with 4 cups cold water and stir until dissolved. Add the hoisin and soy sauces, the Scotch, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder. Submerge the pork in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. (Alternatively, you can brine the pork in a large zip-top bag.)

Glaze and roast the pork

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425°F.

In a small saucepan, combine the hoisin sauce, maple syrup, sugar, Scotch, sesame oil,and ginger, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a large wire rack on the sheet. Take the tenderloins out of the brine, shaking off any excess. Pat dry with paper towels, and place on the rack. Brush both with about half of the glaze. roast for 7 minutes, brush with about half of the remaining glaze, and roast until the pork registers 130°F to 135°F on an instant-read thermometer, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and heat the broiler on high. Brush the pork with the remaining glaze, and broil, checking often, until it bubbles and begins to darken, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the scallions.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240, Fat Calories (kcal): 50, Fat (g): 6, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2, Cholesterol (mg): 80, Sodium (mg): 450, Carbohydrates (g): 13, Fiber (g): 0, Sugar (g): 10, Protein (g): 30

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent! Tender, juicy, and flavorful. I may never eat tenderloin any other way again.

Made double the glaze. Used half for recipe. Served with stir-fried snap peas + 2-3 Tbs. glaze, and balance of glaze at the table as sauce. Got rave reviews. 5 Stars

Excellent dish! Pork was very tender and glaze had a wonderful flavor. Next time I plan on making a little bit more glaze for those who may want to drizzle a little more glaze over the meat once it is served given it had such a great flavor.

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