The combination of marinade and hot-sour sauce for this recipe came from Rachael Ray’s show, “Week in a Day”.  She used it to flavor chicken legs and pork ribs, but I went on a slightly different route and applied it to butterflied pork tenderloin.  The marinade is superb, but what made the dish ultra-special was the sauce to be served alongside.  Heads up:  the sauce starts with a ginger-infused simple syrup that must cool down before the other ingredients are added. Start early… 😉

(adapted from Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day)

1 pork tenderloin, butterflied, lightly pounded to even thickness

for marinade:
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup  soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 serrano chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 stalk lemongrass, white part chopped
1 lime, sliced

for sweet and sour chili sauce:
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced

For the marinade: Combine the cilantro, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, chile peppers, ginger and the white part of the lemongrass in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. It will be fairly thick.

Place the butterflied pork inside a plastic bag or a pyrex baking dish, and pour the marinade all over it, massaging the pork to coat well. Add the lime slices, close the bag or cover the dish with plastic film. Place in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours, the longer the better.

While the meat marinades, make the sweet and sour sauce. Combine 1/2 cup water, the sugar and ginger in a small pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then cook gently for a couple of minutes to infuse the syrup with the ginger. Pour the syrup into a small bowl and let completely cool. Remove the ginger, then stir in the vinegar, cilantro, mint, Sriracha, fish sauce,  and lime juice.

Remove the meat from the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.  Heat the grill on high. Right before grilling, brush off most of the marinade, and cook the meat to your liking (about 12 minutes total, flipping the meat halfway through the cooking time).   Let it sit tented with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before slicing at an angle.

Serve with the sauce alongside.


to print the recipe, click here

This recipe was a big winner, it crossed the finish line like Usain Bolt , leaving all other recipes behind! Intense flavor all around, I swear I could eat that sweet and sour sauce by the spoonful, it is addictive.  Thick, sweet, gooey, spicy, hot, I could not stop pouring it over the meat… Phil at some point asked “would you like some meat with your sauce?”    😉   I blame the Sriracha. It gets me every single time.  I hope you try this recipe, don’t let the number of ingredients scare you, once you get the marinade and the sauce ready, it’s pretty much a done dinner deal.

ONE YEAR AGO:  A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba

TWO YEARS AGO: Summer’s Tomatoes

THREE  YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane… 


    • I think you could start with half a cup, and add the other ingredients, then taste and adjust to your liking. – more Sriracha will never hurt, in my humble opinion… 😉


  1. Sally, As I was reading along and reviewing the ingredients, I just felt this would so be a winner! And then I saw your notes and really smiled! I’d be just like you, I’m such a sauce person and so is my daughter, always dipping our food into extra fabulous sauce! While I try to stay clear off sugar, its so necessary in this to caramelize the meat, I’m definitely giving this one a try!


    • tenderloin, just butterflied open. Don t remember the weight, but it was one of those regular packages sold in grocery stores, except that this one was antibiotc, hormone free, etc etc etc. 😉


    • DJ:
      sorry, cannot do much about the problems with the recipe until I am back from my trip… too hard to try to edit on a cell phone, and impossible to alter the PDF file

      please check the link to the published recipe as given in the post, Food TV Source, and it should all be ok in there



  2. Not a problem! I did check the source before making this for dinner tonight. Wow-thanks for this version. The sauce is addictive-I think it will be a good drizzle for a fried egg over leftover white rice-the breakfast of champions in this house.
    Mint is not a favorite of mine, so used 1 tablespoon of mint and about three tablespoons of Thai basil along with the cilantro in the sauce. Loved it.


    • Finally fixed the post, will work on the PDF sometime this weekend. THa lab move started yesterday and I am in a complete state of exhaustion at the moment, so is Phil…. Move lab: not for sissies, my friend.

      funny thing: the chile pepper in the instructions is in the recipe from FoodTV, but is not in the list of ingredients either! 😉 I had not noticed and didn’t use any in my sauce, so I omitted. The sauce was plenty hot as it was, but I bet serious pepper fanatics might enjoy some added chiles… 😉


  3. This sounds so good. I love sweet and sour combinations and Mr. N is huge fan of ginger. I have no doubt this would be a winner for him too. And Mike, like you, is a fan of nearly anything with Sriracha. I have a feeling I could eat this sauce with a spoon too. I don’t think we’ve had pork in a while either. Wheels spinning now… 🙂


  4. Have looked up Sriracha, Wiki says ‘Traditional Thai Sriracha sauce tends to be tangier, sweeter, and runnier in texture than non-Thai versions.[citation needed] Non-Thai sauces are different in flavor, color, and texture from Thai versions. The Huy Fong Foods brand (“Rooster Sauce”) dominates in the USA.[1] so I guess I am wondering what brand you used and whether I can get the ecstacy inducing brand of choice here… (trying very hard to be a true foodista here 😉 ) I love the sound of this and I want to make it, so I will be off to Water Sky to track down the relevant brand if I can. The photo has me drooling – we love pork here!


    • Well, now I will be on a mission to find the original sauce, JOanna. THere’s an oriental market here in Manhattan and the owner promised to find me ANY ingredient I cannot find in his place. I might put the guy to test… he, he, he….


  5. next question, I don’t think we get a cut of meat like that. All the tenderloin I have seen is like a long thinnish round piece of meat. Do you have a photo of one which is uncooked so I can ask the butcher to prep it for me?


    • That’s exactly the cut I used, but I butterflied it open – I cut a slit lenghtwise, not going all the way through, and pound it gently (well, not too gently) with a meat mallet protecting the meat with a plastic wrap. It’s my favorite way to grill it because it speeds up the process, and ensures the meat is cooked through – Phil is absolutely adamant about not eating undercooked pork.


  6. It crossed the finish line like Usain Bolt – heehee – and I can understand why! I love everything about this recipe Sally…the Thai influence in the marinade sounds gorgeous and the sauce…. ooh, la, la, bring it on!! I’m all about sauces too so I can relate to it being a principal attraction. My husband says the same about my spaghetti prep – “you have two cups of sauce and barely a 1/2 cup of spaghetti?!!” YUP! :).


    • Usain Bolt was incredible – I still cannot get over his looking back during the qualifying rounds, as he is ready to cross the finish line, just to make sure everyone else is ready to collect their lungs and beg for mercy. Can you imagine? Twisting the neck back as you run the fastest runs a man has ever run?


  7. DJ. thanks for getting back to me on the recipe, glad it had a happy ending. 😉

    I will try to reply to all of you individually, but it s hard to do it at the present time…

    we are having a fantastic time here, even the Gods of Golf had some mercy on me yesterday at Turtle Bay 😉


    • We are back, Lisa – and in complete lab move mode…. I might make a post about it sometime, it is crazy… All sorts of small problems, unexpected outlets that don’t match our equipment, not knowing exactly where to place a 200 pound piece of equipment but having to decide while movers with strong arms are there to help… but, this too shall pass 😉


  8. Pingback: Thai-Inspired Chicken Thighs :: Pork Cracklins

  9. Hello there. I have this recipe all prepped along with the amazing sauce in the fridge. I have friends round for dinner tonight…Can’t wait to taste!!!!Just one question please….What would you serve it with? I was thinking of roasted green vegetables?! IE: broccoli, green beans, pepper, maybe some cauliflower, mushrooms or some Jasmin rice??!! Any advice much appreciated. Cheers, Sue from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.


    • oh, that all sounds wonderful! I would definitely go with roasted veggies, and a side of rice, or if you want to change things a bit, maybe some orzo?

      I have a recipe on the blog, carrot nib orzo which is fantastic and very simple too –

      that could go well with the pork and some roasted veggies, but of course a fragrant Jasmine rice would do too! Hope your meal will be a smashing success!!!!


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