According to Men’s Health, “Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin has less fat than chicken breast,” so this dish submitted by Shalini Roy from her blog, Noyaux, is a perfect choice if you’re looking for Healthy Dinner Entrees. The Chinese Plum Sauce is like none you’ve ever tasted in a Chinese restaurant. It is sweet, yet piquant (“musky,” as Shalini calls it), and makes a terrific foil to the mild-tasting pork. This recipe calls for grilling the pork, and thankfully, summer is still with us (albeit for a short time), but if you must prepare it inside, a grill pan will also suffice. Do as Shalini does, and serve the pork with sauteed rainbow chard and brown rice, and you’ve got a wonderful, healthy dinner!
Barbecued Pork Loin with Chinese Spiced Plum Sauce
1 1/2 lbs. organic boneless pork loin
1 red Thai chili, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 lbs. plums, pitted and quartered
1/2 Thai red chili, roughly sliced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 star anise
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp.rice vinegar
To make the marinade, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Cut the pork loin into four equal pieces, (Shalini says, “pork loin is usually really lean so you likely won’t need to trim off any extra fat.”) Spread the marinade over the four pieces of meat and chill for three hours, covered.
To make the sauce, place the plum pieces in a non-reactive (stainless steel is best) medium saucepan. Add in all the sauce ingredients listed above plus three tablespoons of water. Set over medium heat until the sugar is melted, lowering the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes with the pot lid askance. Let cool a little, remove the star anise, and purée in a blender.
To barbecue the meat, cut each of the four pieces of pork into two inch rounds and coat again in the marinade. Light the barbecue and wait until the coals are grey before grilling for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Serve with remaining sauce on the side.