Mongolian Pork is one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s a quick and easy meal that you can whip up in 30 minutes. This twist on the classic Mongolian recipe uses pork for the protein. The sticky, sweet sauce is balanced with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. It’s the perfect easy weeknight meal.
Recently, I was on a farm tour in Kansas and learned all about the pork industry. This Mongolian Pork recipe was inspired by that trip. My family loves pork tenderloin but we were bored with the same recipes I’ve been making. I decided to take a recipe traditionally made with beef and swap it for pork. This Asian pork tenderloin marinade and sauce was huge hit!
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What We Love About This Recipe
This easy family-friendly recipe takes no time at all to make and the leftovers are so versatile!
- 30 Minute Meal: This family favorite is quick and easy – perfect for busy weeknights!
- Easy Ingredients: You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.
- Makes Great Leftovers: We used the leftovers to make Asian Tacos
- Pork Tenderloin: Pork tenderloin usually comes in a two-pack. I used one for this recipe and froze the other one for another recipe later. I like to use a 16 ounce piece for this recipe.
- Garlic: You can mince the cloves garlic or use pre-minced garlic from a jar.
- Fresh Grated Ginger: Like the garlic, you can grate your own or use pre-grated ginger from a jar. It’s so easy!
- Soy Sauce: I like to use the low-sodium variety. This way I can cut down the amount of sodium in the recipe.
- Brown Sugar: Use dark brown sugar in this recipe. It has a deeper flavor.
How to Make Mongolian Pork
These are the basic steps for making this Chinese style Mongolian Pork. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
STEP 1: PREPARE THE PORK
Cut the pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch pieces. The key is to make sure they are the same size so that they will cook evenly.
STEP 2: COAT THE PORK
Coat the pork pieces in cornstarch. The cornstarch gives a nice crispy coating to the pork and helps to thicken the sauce. I added the cornstarch to a bowl and tossed the pork but it would have been much easier if I added the cornstarch to a clean plastic bag (zip top bag) and used my favorite bag holder. Then all I would have to do is shake it – it’s much less messy this way.
STEP 3: BROWN THE PORK
Brown the pork in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan or the pork will steam and not get crispy. If you have excess meat, work in batches. Also, if you have a wok, you could easily stir fry it that way.
STEP 4: MAKE THE SAUCE
Remove the pork and add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, black pepper and water to the skillet and whisk it together. The sauce will be pretty thin at this point.
STEP 5: ADD THE PORK
Add the pork back to the skillet with the green onions – use about two-thirds of the green part – and allow it to simmer in the sauce. The cornstarch coating will help thicken the sauce so it clings to the pork.
Prep and Storage Tips
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME
This recipe only takes a few minutes to prep and about 10 minutes to cook. If you want to get a jump start on dinner, you can cut the pork up to 24 hours ahead of time and store it in the fridge.
HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
HOW TO REHEAT THIS RECIPE
I prefer to reheat this dish in a skillet. You may need to pour a few tablespoons of water to help loosen up the sauce.
More About Pork
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a working pork farm in Kansas to learn more about the pork industry and how pigs are raised. I’ve been on numerous working farms before but I have never been on a pig farm. I learned so much about the industry.
I’ve been asked a number of questions about pork, so I’m hoping these answers help you understand more about this incredible protein. And if you want to see more of my Kansas farm tour, head over to Instagram.
Is Pork Healthy to Eat?
Pork is a high quality protein and is a good source of vitamins and nutrients. Pig farmers carefully formulate the feed given to their animals to ensure they are getting the best nutrition possible. Over the years, the pork industry has been able to lower the saturated fat content in pork by over 25%.
What Type of Meat is Pork?
It might be a bit surprising but pork is a red meat. You may have heard it branded as “the other white meat” but it is classified as red. If you’re looking for leaner cuts of pork, look for the word “loin” in the cut.
What Part of the Pig is Pork?
Pork comes five main parts of the pig – loin, side, leg, pork shoulder and picnic shoulder. These main areas are then broken down even further into the cuts you find in the meat case. You can learn more about the various cuts here.
How Clean are Pigs?
This was one of the most fascinating things I learned on the farm. Bio-security is a very big deal on pig farms. Pig farmers are have plans in place to keep their animals safe and prevent foreign animal diseases. In fact, we had to wear foot coverings while visiting the farm. You can learn more about bio-security here.
Frequently Asked Questions
I would not recommend this substitution. The powdered ginger just doesn’t have the same flavor as fresh grated. If you can’t find fresh ginger in the produce department, you can look for pre-grated ginger in a jar. It works just as well.
Absolutely! If you’re feeding a larger bunch or if you want leftovers, you can easily double the ingredients. Conversely, if you have a smaller family, you can easily cut the ingredients in half for smaller portions.
The inspiration for Mongolian Beef originated in Taiwan. Over the years, this recipe has become very Americanized and doesn’t use the processes or ingredients found in the original Asian recipe. If you’d like to try a more traditional recipe, give this one a try.
Expert Tips for Making This Recipe
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- Size Matters: Make sure you cut the pork into uniform sized pieces so they cook more evenly.
- Don’t Crowd: Don’t try to brown too much at one time. Overcrowding the pan will cause the pork to steam instead of brown.
- Spice it Up: Feel free to add crushed red pepper flakes, hot sauce or hot mustard powder to make this dish a little zippier!
- Change it Up: Don’t limit yourself to pork tenderloin. I would use this same recipe to make Mongolian Pork Chops. I like center cut pork chops but you can ask for butcher cut thinner chops for faster cooking.
- Boost the Flavor: Try substituting half of the soy sauce with 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce. I just love the flavor. You can also balance some of the sweetness by adding a tablespoon rice vinegar to the finished sauce.
What to Serve with Asian Pork Tenderloin
I like to serve this over a large bowl of rice. Any remaining marinade can soak into the rice making a super flavorful dish. You can serve any of your favorite veggies with this – bell peppers, carrots and broccoli are great. Here are some more that work too:
Did you try this recipe?
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- 1 lb pork tenderloin
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 green onions, green parts only, sliced into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, for garnish
- Cut the pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Add the cornstarch to a large zip top bag; Add the pork pieces to the bag and seal it, making sure to remove the excess air.
- Shake the bag to coat the pork in the cornstarch.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork pieces, shaking off excess cornstarch, and transfer to a plate.
- Add the canola oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering add the pork pieces in an even layer being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You can cook the pork in batches if you need to.
- Cook the pork for 4-5 minutes the flip the pork and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the internal temperature is 140°F.
- Transfer the pork to a clean plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the garlic and grated ginger. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and water and stir to combine.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the pork and sliced green onions to the skillet.
- Cook for 3 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
- Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.
Estimated Nutritional Information
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
This recipe is my personal adaption of an ethnic inspired recipe. It is not intended to be an authentic recipe. I’ve recreated this recipe because I enjoy the flavors and I want to encourage my readers to expand their tastes and try new flavor combinations. The recipe, ingredients and processes may have been adapted to make the recipe accessible for the average American. I have provided links to authentic versions of the recipe in the post above. I encourage you to visit these pages and learn more about the traditional version(s) of this recipe.
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