Whenever I ask friends and family to come over, I admit, I can get a little extra. It’s fun to zhush a dish up to impress, and make people want to dive right into the food. I do it for myself too, but the rush I get when I see delight from an eye flutter after a loved one bites into something I prepared is pretty incomparable. I think it’s the same reason my umma would cut radishes into little creatures, and create flowers out of some piece of fruit, just to make the rest of the meal a little more special. Sometimes, I wonder if we’re all just carbon copies from our parents.
As zhushed as it looks, this dish is pretty simple to make. The most amount of time is spent on marinating flavor into the pork. The rest is just a few steps before platting all of the fun components right before everyone’s ready to sit down for the meal. It’s also versatile, in the sense that you should go as spicy as you’d like. The sweetness from the marinade and apples will balance any amount you put on there. I mean ... whatever amount you like and are used to. No need to loose taste buds from spiciness dumped on a dish, as a challenge accepted. Better make sure to have some rice on the side, just in case.
Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Endive and Apple Salad
1.5 lbs. pork tenderloin
1 medium Fuji apple
2 small red chili
sesame seeds for garnish
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sesame oil
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion granules
1 TBSP sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp gochugaru, korean red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
Put the tenderloin in a ziplock bag, and add all ingredients for the marinade. Leave in the fridge for least 2 hours, up to 6 hours.
After marinating, remove any excess liquid with a paper towel. Preheat the oven to 425F. Get a skillet to medium high heat, and sear all sides of the tenderloin, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes for a medium doneness. Remove from skillet, and rest for 5 minutes.
Quarter the endives. Thinly slice the chilis into round pieces. Cut large pieces around the core of the Fuji apple. Thinly slice while keeping the form of the piece intact, to be fanned in the salad. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together, and drizzle over the endive and chili pieces. Place fanned apple pieces on top.
Slice the tenderloin into ½ inch rounds. Serve immediately with the salad.