I used to work as a nursing assistant in an adult family home, and I would often have to prepare meals for the residents there. Being elderly, they liked foods to be fairly basic. One of their favorite meals was delicious, and it was literally just a can of pineapple with the juice, soy sauce, and pork chops. Every time we ate this I wanted to add something to it; it just didn’t feel done yet. Although I’m sure this recipe might be kid friendly, sweet and just a tad salty! I did not create the original recipe, and I unfortunately don’t know who came up with it, but I still tried to work off the original idea and create something equally delicious but a little brighter with a little more depth.
I used pork tenderloin because it was such a good price, but I have made something similar to recipe this with chicken breasts it came out awesome if I do say so myself.
I added a side of snow peas sautéed in a little bit olive oil and sesame oil with salt, pepper, and garlic. The potatoes, the other side I served, were meant to be a sub for rice (I used fingerling potatoes thinly sliced baked 20ish minutes at 375 degrees F). I always serve rice with dishes that have any sort of Asian flair to them, and I wanted to be creative this time. I seasoned the potatoes to match the pork (olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and even some cinnamon) and they were super yummy, but honestly rice would have been better with the pork. Don’t fix what isn’t broke! Unless you’re like me and you think you can make something delicious even more delicious (I’m usually wrong).
I strained all the chilies and pineapples out of the marinade and reduced the liquid down to a super delicious teriyaki-esque sauce—which would have been amazing on rice…ugh why don’t I follow my instincts?! (Side note, I was going to fry the pineapples with the meat but decided against it, so I left them out of the ingredients…try it and let me know how it goes!)
Anyway, however you make this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Ingredients and Materials:
- 1 pound pork tenderloin (the amounts listed for the marinade would easily cover up to 4 pounds of meat, but I wanted plenty of extra marinade in order to make a sauce)
- 1 large hot chili (about ¼ cup when chopped)
- ~2 cups pineapple juice
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sambal (any spicy chili paste is great)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ a bunch of cilantro leaves
- ~¼ cup ginger
- 1 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- Smash together garlic, ginger, cilantro leaves, and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle (finely chopping would work too). Combine this mixture into a large bowl with pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal, and sesame oil.
- Marinate pork tenderloin in the pineapple juice mixture for 3 hours or overnight.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and remove any bits and pieces of marinade herbs from the pork (they will burn in the pan). Slice the pork tenderloin into 1 inch thick slices, a one pound tenderloin usually yields 10-12 slices.
- Lay down the pork slices and season with salt and pepper.
- In a hot pan (medium high heat), heat up a teaspoon of cooking oil and place pork slices season side down. Salt and pepper the side that is now face up. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Flip tenderloin slices and cook for about 2 minutes (time will vary based on thickness. Pork is safe at 145 degrees F).
- Optional: While meat is cooking, strain the chunky stuff out of the marinade into a saucepan and boil it. Once it boils reduce to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken to desired viscosity. A thicker sauce takes about 15 minutes, but once the sauce has boiled it is safe to eat, and thin sauces are perfect over rice. The marinade will create enough sauce for two entrees, but you can just add more pineapple juice and soy sauce before boiling if you want more sauce.
- Serve with your favorite sides!
(note: I didn’t include formal recipes for the sides, but there’s some notes above on how to do them!)