My wife and I spent the last week moving across the country in a big yellow truck from Brooklyn to Bucktown, Chicago, and along the way we relied on the kindness of friends and relatives for meals and places to stay. One of those meals that particularly stood out for me was this grilled pork tenderloin. We ate it outside with the chill of the evening setting in, and the flavor lingered with me for some time. So last night, with most of my life still in towering piles of cardboard boxes in every corner of our new apartment, I called my friends for the recipe, with the idea that the simple ingredients for the marinade—soy, garlic, brown sugar, and cumin—would be easy to find.
They were, and the recipe itself is a cinch. The marinade is vaguely about Asian flavors with cumin thrown in; the person who served it to us said her friend invented it. The savory, rich flavor of soy and garlic bring out the same in the pork; brown sugar adds sweetness; and the cilantro, which wilts a bit from the heat of the pork, is a burst of freshness.
This would be a superb idea for Labor Day grilling, something a little different to cook alongside usual fare.
- 3-4 pounds pork tenderloin
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 bunch cilantro
Combine the soy sauce, sugar, cumin, and garlic in a Ziploc bag or other marinating vessel. Rinse and dry the tenderloin and add to the bag. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare coals or preheat a gas grill. Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving it. Grill the tenderloin over medium-high heat with the grill covered until cooked through, but still tender and juicy, turning occasionally, 7 to 10 minutes depending on thickness. Allow to rest for a couple minutes before slicing.
Roughly tear the top of the cilantro bunch, discarding the large stems, and scatter over a serving platter. Top with the cooked pork and serve.