Chinese BBQ Pork Tenderloin – Pork tenderloin is marinated in a sweet Chinese BBQ sauce and then roasted in the oven to tender perfection. It’s finished off with the broiler to give the outside a sticky glaze.
Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest proteins to make. It’s shocking to me that I only started cooking it after moving in with my now-husband years ago. We never had it even once while growing up. But now we make it almost every week and I love it. It’s tender like filet mignon, lean like chicken, and actually quite affordable.
So I guess it’s not surprising that I have yet another pork tenderloin recipe for you today. It’s for this incredibly flavorful Chinese BBQ Pork Tenderloin. I stumbled upon this recipe when researching a recipe for bao buns. This recipe was suggested for filling those bao buns once they’ve been steamed.
And man was it delicious! The pork is sweet, yet beautifully spiced. Plus, it is even more tender due to the marinating time.
I’m still working on perfecting my bao buns so I’m not ready to share any recipe for those yet. However, there’s no need to keep you from this Chinese BBQ Pork Tenderloin. It tastes incredible on it’s own, served along rice and some pickled cucumbers.
Before we get to the recipe, let’s gawk at some photos, shall we?
Marinating the pork
The key to flavor for this pork tenderloin is marinating it. The marinade is easy to throw together but it does involve a few ingredients. But the good news is, once you make the marinade, you don’t have to add anymore ingredients into the mix.
All the marinade ingredients are added to a plastic storage bag and then the pork tenderloin is added. The bag is placed in the refrigerator and left there for 4-8 hours.
Roasting the pork
Once the pork is marinated, it’s time to roast the pork. The pork is removed from the marinade and roasted in the oven until mostly cooked through. It’s placed on a rack and then on a baking sheet with raised edges. Lifting the pork from the pan ensures it’s cooked evenly. Additionally, we add in some water to the pan to help create steam, which will add in moisture to the pork.
Don’t discard the marinade! You’ll add it to a small saucepan with a little more honey and boil until thick and sticky. It’s going to be used in the broiling phase, which is up next.
Broiling the pork
Once the pork have roasted for about 30 minutes, it’s broiled to achieve a beautiful, roasted coating on the outside. Broiling also turns the marinade into a thick, BBQ glaze.
Set your oven to broil and let your pork cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes. The marinade glaze we made will be basted over the pork every few minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip the marinating time. It really helps deepen the flavor in the pork.
- The water in the pan is important for two reasons: it keeps the pork moist and it keeps the pork juices from smoking when they hit the pan.
- Make sure you use a pan that can be broiled. Many non-stick pans CANNOT because the coating will start to burn off. Special broil pans can be purchased. I just use my aluminum pans because they are safe for high heat situations.
- Do not take your eye off the pork as it broils. The broiler is sooo hot and can easily burn food. If you notice the pork starting to burn before the 10 minutes are up, add a little more glaze.
Chinese Pork Tenderloin
- 1 raw pork tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
- ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2½ tablespoons honey divided
- Take tenderloin and place in a gallon plastic storage bag. Mix all other ingredients, except honey, in a bowl. Add only 1½ tablespoons of honey to mixture and whisk together. Save the remaining honey for later.
- Pour mixture into storage bag with pork. Coat pork with marinade and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
- When ready to cook, place oven rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place broil-safe rack over broil-safe pan with raised edges. Place pork on rack and into oven. Place leftover marinade into a small sauce pan and set aside. Very carefully, slowly pour hot water half way up the edges of the pan and slide pan into oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the glaze. Add remaining tablespoon of honey to marinade in sauce pan. Set over medium heat. Bring to low boil and cook until thick and sticky, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until it's time to broil the pork.
- After 30 minutes, turn broiler on high. Let pork broil to turn the outside sticky and slightly charred. Baste it with the prepared glaze every 3 minutes. Remove from oven after about 10 minutes or until the outside starts to char.
- Let it cool for 5 minutes before slicing.