This Thai Pork Rice Bowl is ready in 30 minutes! Features quick-cooked pork tenderloin in a peanut butter sauce, served with spinach and lime rice.
This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy pork tenderloin. The pork is quickly marinated in a Thai sauce of peanut butter, coconut milk and coriander, then broiled or grilled. The remaining marinade is heated for the sauce while the pork cooks.
This is also a 30 minute meal! It actually cooks up in about the same time as it takes to cook the rice (20 minutes). As the pork tenderloin is butterflied, it cooks up really quickly either on the BBQ, in a grill pan on the stove-top or on a baking sheet under the oven broiler.
I served quick sauteed spinach in my bowl. Simply add spinach to a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil and toss a minute or so until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Steam, roast or microwave any green or veg you like for your bowl!
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Cook’s Notes for Thai Pork Rice Bowl with Lime Rice
Quick tip for removing the silverskin on your pork tenderloin: make a cut at the end of the silverskin with a very sharp knife, then use a piece of paper towel to grip it and pull it off. Repeat until it’s all removed. The paper towel grips it perfectly and makes getting it off a breeze.
Be sure to stir your full-fat coconut milk well before measuring out the 1 cup. Freeze any remaining coconut milk. It great to use for a future Thai curry.
Any kind of peanut butter will work in this dish, including natural. The thickness of the sauce may differ slightly. Adjust the amount of water you add to the sauce when heating at the end accordingly. (You don’t want the sauce too thick, otherwise it will just sit on top and not seep down to the rice layer a bit).
A grill pan on the stove-top works well with the pork, but you’ll need quite a large one unless you want to cut your pork tenderloin into two smaller pieces (which is fine!).
I served quick sauteed spinach with my rice bowl, but any vegetable you like or have around is fine. I quick saute the spinach in a skillet with a bit of olive oil for about 1 minute, or until wilted.
Thai Pork Rice Bowl with Lime Rice
- 1 large (or 2 small) pork tenderloin
- 1 cup coconut milk, stirred (light or regular)
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 clove garlic, minced minced
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- Pinch salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Start 1 cup basmati rice cooking in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.
Prepare marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients and whisking until well combined. Set aside.
Trim pork tenderloin of any visible fat and remove the silverskin. Using a sharp knife, butterfly the pork tenderloin by cutting lengthwise, almost, but not all the way through, so the halves remain attached. Lay tenderloin flat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat tenderizer or a heavy skillet until uniformly thick (1/2-3/4 inches thick). Place into a shallow baking dish and pour prepared marinade over top. Flip pork over a couple of times so it is well coated in the marinade. Cover dish with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 10 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for a longer period (up to 8 hours ahead of cooking).
Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high or broiler, with oven rack in the 2nd from the top position. If broiling, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
After meat has marinated, remove from refrigerator and using tongs, lift pork from marinade holding it over the baking dish. Allow the marinade to drip off, then take a brush and remove most of it that is clinging to the pork back into the baking dish. Take the remaining marinade and pour it into a small saucepan. Add 2 Tbsp. water and stir. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
If broiling, place onto foil-lined baking sheet and place under broiler for 10-12 minutes, or until temperature of meat reaches 155° (do not flip). If grilling, place onto hot grill and cook, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through (6-8 minutes). Remove cooked pork to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil to rest. After it has rested and just before serving, use a sharp knife to slice into strips.
When rice is cooked, remove to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well to coat. Pour lime juice over-top and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley. Toss well to combine.
To serve: Place lime rice in the bottom of a bowl. Top with sliced pork. Spoon warm peanut sauce generously over-top. Serve with quick sauteed spinach or any other steamed green. Serve with a lime wedge for garnish/squeezing on top.