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If you are like me, when you think about curry you’ll imagine pieces of meat or veggies swimming in a spicy sauce.  This is not it. The pork tenderloin is marinated in a flavorful orange-soy mixture, then grilled.  The curry sauce is spooned over it, and to add another layer of flavor and texture pumpkin seeds are sprinkled on top.  This was one of those dinners that surpassed my expectations.  We could celebrate a Wednesday with it, but instead it opened our week to a good start: we enjoyed it for dinner after a very busy Monday.


(slightly modified from Bon Appetit, May 2013)

for pork marinade:
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 pork tenderloin, butterflied

for pumpkin seeds:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt

for curry sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 small shallot, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons green Thai curry paste
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (I used light)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Combine soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork and seal bag. Chill, turning occasionally, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast, shaking pan often, until seeds are brown, about 4 minutes. Add cumin seeds, then gradually add sugar, then lime juice, tossing constantly to coat seeds with melted sugar and juice. Transfer pumpkin seed mixture to a foil-lined baking sheet; spread out and let cool. Season with salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add coconut milk and bring just to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Transfer coconut milk mixture to a blender. Add cilantro, lime juice, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons water and blend until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and blend until creamy. Season curry sauce with salt and pepper, return to pan, and cover to keep warm.

Remove pork from marinade; pat dry. Grill pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°.  Let rest 10 minutes. Slice pork and serve with curry sauce and cumin-spiced pumpkin seeds.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments:  At first this recipe seems doable on a weeknight.  But I will be honest with you: when we come home from work I want dinner preparation to be as simple and painless as possible. The idea of making a sauce that involves grabbing (and later washing) the blender, toasting the pumpkin seeds, assembling everything AND thinking about a side dish to go with it leaves me searching for another recipe right away…  😉   So, I made all the components on a Sunday afternoon, no hurries, not pressure. The pumpkin seeds went into the pantry, the sauce in the fridge. The pork went to sleep in the marinade.    Next day I cooked some white rice, sliced juicy heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled them with Maldon salt and balsamic vinegar, a tiny little drizzle of olive oil.   Grilled the pork, warmed the sauce, and felt like a Kitchen Goddess.

Side note: these pumpkin seeds are excellent to snack on, the recipe makes more than you’ll need and that is a good thing!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Farfalle with Zucchini and Ricotta

TWO YEARS AGO: Slow-baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

THREE YEARS AGO: Hoisin Explosion Chicken


  1. An absolutely delightful AND different ‘curry’ recipe I cannot wait to make. I have not mixed all these flavours at the same time and can’t even ‘pretend taste’ at the computer keyboard 🙂 ! Love that it can be partly pre-prepared when convenient and love that for all intensive purposes each part can also be used separately! I use a lot of pumpkin seeds but again have never ‘tarted’ them up so delightfully! All along a lovely Sunday evening recipe to take > kitchen!!


    • It’s true that the flavors of this dish are pretty unique, and hard to “imagine” just from the components – together, the meat, the sauce and the seeds are amazing!


  2. I love the cute jars of green curry mix … I buy a very pricey brand of jam in something very similar. Like you I’m much too tired when I come home after being on my feet for 8 hrs and often running up and down the stairs every 38 min lately so standing and prepping/washing dishes etc is NOT something I want to take on. I probably would save the pumpkin seed garnish if I had company over but the rest of the dish sounds so tasty.

    I was expecting a stuffing when I saw that you had used a butterflied pork loin but I expect the flatter cut is perfect for getting the marinade into the meat and quickly grilling it. If it’s a nice day tomorrow, I should fire up by bbq. Today, I’m doing a boneless whole chicken with stuffing inspired by Sawsan and still have to tie up the bird. Fun times ahead even though I practiced the knots yesterday. 🙂


    • You are brave! Those knots make a knot in my brains, I don’t think I could try them… they do look very professional when done properly 🙂

      I do the butterflied tenderloin for two reasons – the quick cooking, and making sure the meat is not medium rare – Phil won’t go for it, no matter what


      • I’m still iffy on medium rare pork, though I love rare steak, so I’m with Phil on that one.

        The knots were actually quite easy … then when I flipped I saw that the string had got caught in the toothpicks holding together the back (cause I overstuffed with rice, mushrooms and spinach) so it wasn’t as pretty as the top. The results were great though (will post in the next couple of days) and I served the chicken with a caesar salad and garlic mashed potatoes made with home cultured creme fraiche. I have to brag about the latter cause it’s the first time I ever made creme fraiche, and even though it took almost 5 days at room temp (it’s cold here) to thicken, it’s beautiful stuff. I served it with some Romanian donuts called Papanasi and am going to inoculate a fresh batch of whipping cream.


        • Home cultured creme fraiche! WOW! That is impressive! I made fromage blanc once, and it turned out great, but my attempt at making mozarella was pathetic… made a huge mess in the kitchen and the result was so-so


          • I just stirred 2 tbsp of the commercial stuff into 1 cup of scalded/gently warmed whipping cream and placed the lidded glass jar in a warm place. If the room temp had been closer to 75 deg F than to 65, it would have taken less time, especially as there isn’t very much ‘live’ bacteria in the commercial crème fraiche but eventually, the stuff thickened. It’s similar to Mexican crema and I’m going to put it on some sweet corn tamales as well as the usual fruit/dessert. Unlike regular sour cream, crème fraiche does not split if the temp gets too high so it would be great in beef stroganoff . Other recipes it can be used in are here.


            Give it a try if you can find some.


  3. Funny, I tried this recipe yesterday after seeing it in Bon Appetit, just coincidence. An exotic curry always gets my taste buds tingling, but this did not deliver the expected. It was good, but I would not crave it again. It could have been the bottled Thai green curry paste the recipe suggested lacked punch. I added a bit more lime juice and zest. The roasted pepitas were very tasty however. I had never used pumpkin seeds this way before so all was not lost. I’d make those again to serve over a salad.

    I find it interesting you chose to serve rice. That was my first inclination, based on the Thai curry. Since it was cool yesterday I switched to a garlic mashed potato, roasted tri color peppers and an asparagus side. Looked great on the plate, but somehow still not memorable.


    • Too bad you did not like it that much – maybe different brands of curry do make a difference, I suppose….

      as to the side dish, as a Brazilian, I grew up with rice as a side dish almost daily, so it’s usually my default side dish. Phil was not that into rice until he married me (or tomatoes, for that matter!) but now he often asks me to make it. It is neutral, and goes with everything (well, for me at least… )


  4. This looks like a great dinner. Every time I see pork tenderloin I get so hungry. I haven no idea why I don’t make it. I think I’ve made it twice before. It’s so good, so easy and yet I never think to make it. That is all going to change with this recipe! Those pumpkin seeds are genius! And I love that you can make everything ahead of time. I usually make Tuesday’s dinner on Monday night. I’m hectic on Monday, but Tuesday night feels darn good! 🙂


    • That;s interesting, you know pork tenderloin is something I cook almost once per week, that and salmon are always in the weekly rotation. It cooks so quickly, it is so versatile, so I’m always preparing it for us. This was a nice change of pace for it.


  5. Last Friday I came upon the curry paste section of my Indian spice shop and bought a few cans of curry, a couple of green were among them, and that night I made a green curry chicken. Now you post this green curry pork tenderloin recipe. How can I refuse? I especially like that its parts can be prepared ahead of time. Chances are I’ll have dinner guests when I make this and I’ll have better things to do that afternoon than to spend it in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing, Sally. This one’s getting pinned!


    • Hope you make it, John! Those curry cans are very handy to have around. After I open mine, I store the rest in the freezer – not sure how long they would last in the fridge. Little mounds of frozen paste defrost quickly in the sauce…


  6. My husband has been gently (but persistently) reminding me that I haven’t made a roast pork in ages (as in years ;-)). This may be the perfect way to reintroduce the dish — talk about a fabulous way to season. The thought of orange-soy with green curry has my toes curling even at coffee hour! :O).


  7. Pingback: Pork Tenderloin Green Curry and Pepitas | Dish 'n' the kitchen

  8. Pingback: Pork Tenderloin Green Curry and Pepitas - Dish 'n' the Kitchen

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