Pork Tenderloin in Caramelized Sugar and Ginger Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Jeremiah Tower Cooks

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2002

  • About

We used to do this in Speedo 690, and now I have updated it with crystallized ginger and jasmine oil.


  • 2 1-pound fresh pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1 quart wet brine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger or galangal (peppery ginger, Thai ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 large stalk fresh basil, stemmed, stems chopped, leaves saved
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 6 star anise
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon jasmine-ginger-chili oil
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Brine the pork for 45 minutes, then take it out of the brine and wipe dry. Put the ginger, garlic, and chopped basil stems in a small bowl, mix together, and then rub the marinade into the tenderloins. Cover them and let marinate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put the sugar in a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan and heat slowly until it caramelizes and just turns light brown (but beyond gold). Add the star anise. Let the caramel cool for 2 minutes and then add the stock and vinegar, being very careful because it may sputter, and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved in the sauce. Remove the star anise.

Wipe the marinade off the tenderloins, season lightly, rub with the olive oil, and grill them over real charcoal (or broil) for 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle them with the jasmine oil, and let them rest 5 minutes in a warm place. Chop the fresh basil leaves. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Stir in the ginger, basil, and sesame oil and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Slice the tenderloins and pour some of the sauce over the slices, passing the rest.