Pork Tenderloin with Thai Spices and Peanut Sauce

Recipe via David Tanis
Serves 2 to 3

For the pork:
♦ 1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, sliced into thin rectangles
♦ 1 tsp cumin seeds
♦ 1 tsp coriander seeds
♦ 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
♦ 1/4 tsp cayenne
♦ 1 shallot, roughly chopped
♦ 2 garlic cloves
♦ 1 1/2-in piece ginger, roughly chopped
♦ 4-in piece lemongrass, roughly chopped
♦ 1 tbsp fish sauce
♦ 1 lime, juice only
♦ 2 tsp soy sauce
♦ 1/2 cup coconut milk
♦ 1 tbsp brown sugar

For the Peanut Sauce:
♦ 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
♦ 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
♦ 1 tsp soy sauce
♦ 2 tsp sesame oil
♦ 1 tbsp brown sugar
♦ 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
♦ 1 lime, juice only
♦ 1/8 tsp cayenne
♦ 1/3 cup coconut milk (more if necessary)

For the cucumbers:
♦ 1 pound Persian cucumbers, cubed
♦ 1/2 tsp salt
♦ 1/2 lime, juice only
♦ 2 tbsp brown sugar
♦ 1 shallot, minced
♦ 2 Thai or serrano chiles, minced
♦ 1 garlic clove, minced

Prepare the skewers: toast the cumin and coriander seeds separately (until fragrant), and grind to a fine powder. Mix together all of the spices and set aside. Place the shallot, garlic, ginger, lemongrass into a food processor. Pulse briefly to mix, and carefully add the liquids (fish sauce – coconut milk), brown sugar and spice mix. Pulse until blended to a paste.

Place the pork into a tupperware bin or mixing bowl, and pour the marinade on top. Gently mix to ensure all of the pork is fully covered, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight (we marinated ours for ~ 3 hours).

Make the peanut sauce: clean out the food processor, and add the peanuts. Pulse briefly to ground the nuts, and add the remaining ingredients – process until well pureed. Add more coconut milk or lime juice to reach desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Cook the pork: line a roasting sheet with tin foil, and arrange the slices on the pan – bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes (or until fully cooked).

Prepare the cucumbers: while the pork is cooking, place the cucumbers into a medium bowl and stir in the salt, lime juice, sugar, shallot, chilies and garlic. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Transfer the pork to plates, and garnish with the peanut sauce, cucumbers, and cilantro.

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.