A delicious and easy pork tenderloin recipe, with a coconut milk, peanut butter, lime and cilantro sauce. Ready in 30 minutes!
I first published this recipe back in 2016. It's a favourite of mine, so I wanted to update it and bring it back around. This pork tenderloin recipe is delicious, easy and ready in 30 minutes! The sauce is such a unique combination of flavours, that it's probably difficult to imagine how it will taste. Take my word for it though, you won't be disappointed if you try this one :)
If you are a fan of pork tenderloin, delicious sauces and quick and easy meals, then this one is for you! This Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Cilantro Sauce is a regular in my household, for all those reasons :)
In the warmer months, the pork cooks up quickly on the BBQ. In the colder months, it can be cooked quickly on the stove-top in a grill pan or on a baking sheet under the broiler. Butterflying a pork tenderloin is the secret to quick cooking!
Beyond the quick-cooking pork tenderloin, let's talk about the delicious sauce. It's Indonesian in it's flavour profile, with a nice bit of ground coriander to complement the peanut butter, soy sauce and coconut milk. A generous hit of fresh lime juice lightens and freshens the flavours. The fresh lime juice is a must!
Ingredient Notes for Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Cilantro Sauce
Coconut Milk: I always use and do recommend full-fat coconut milk, as it makes for the thickest and richest peanut sauce. Low fat coconut milk will work here, but will result in a thinner and less creamy sauce.
Peanut Butter: Use whatever is in your cupboard, as long as it's smooth. Natural and regular peanut butter will both work nicely here.
Lime Juice: Fresh is best and for best results, don't skip this! The freshness and acidity really elevates and balances the sauce.
Brown Sugar: The recipe specifies dark brown sugar, for the richest taste, but I've made it with light brown sugar, as well, and it works just fine.
Ground Coriander I hope you have this wonderful spice in your spice rack. Coriander is dried cilantro seeds and ground coriander is, well ground up :) If you don't have it and you want to make this dish anyway, simply finely chop some of the fresh cilantro and simmer it with the sauce instead. And in case you're wondering, even if you don't generally like cilantro, you will probably like coriander. It doesn't elicit the same response in cilantro haters.
Cilantro: Hate fresh cilantro? Replace it with flat-leafed parsley.
Cook's Notes for Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Cilantro Sauce
A quick marinade is all that is needed, but if you like, you can start it marinating well ahead (up to 8 hours) and then just cook it up when you're ready.
You'll notice that the marinade is cooked down to make the sauce. As such, you'll want to be sure that you bring the sauce to a boil and allow it to simmer for several minutes. This ensures that any raw meat juices are thoroughly cooked in the sauce.
Serve with a simple vegetable, salad and/or with rice for a delicious and easy weeknight meal (that's also company worthy!). I love a cilantro-lime rice with this one!
Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Cilantro Sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk (full-fat recommended)
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (natural or regular)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 lb pork tenderloin (1 large or two small)
- Fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- Fresh lime wedges (for serving/drizzling)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and coriander to make a smooth sauce.
- Trim the pork of excess fat and silverskin. Butterfly the tenderloins by splitting each one lengthwise almost, but not quite all the way through, so the halves remain attached.
- Open each tenderloin like a book, cover with plastic wrap, and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness with a meat mallet or the bottom of a small skillet. Put the pork tenderloins in the large, shallow bowl with the marinade and turn to coat. Let marinate for 10 to 20 minutes on the counter (or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator).
- While the pork marinates, heat a BBQ on high. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip back into the bowl (don’t discard the marinade). Grill the tenderloins, turning once, until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
- *Alternately, preheat oven broiler to high with rack about 6-inches from heat. Place tenderloins on a foil-covered baking sheet and broil, turning once, until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. You could also cook in a large grill pan on the stove-top.
- Meanwhile, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and add 1 Tbsp. water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. **Important to thoroughly boil and thoroughly heat the sauce for the full time specified! Remove sauce from the heat. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it with a tiny bit more water. Slice the pork and serve drizzled with sauce. Top with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges for drizzling.Additional sauce can be placed in a small bowl for passing.