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  • Asian mushroom soup with pork tenderloin

    You guys, it's been SO long and I'm sorry, but take this recipe as a token of my deepest apologies.

    First things first, we had the pleasure of babysitting one of my favorite pups over the weekend, he even slept over, and let me tell you, he really gets me. I spent most of the weekend talking to him like he was a person. We had a lot of fun running around in the snow, but most of the time we just napped and pondered what kinds of soup to make on this long weekend. Sunday it was a rich roasted tomato made creamy with almond milk and today I wanted something asian street food inspired.

    We started the day with some other comfort foods, corned beef hash for breakfast, topped with fried eggs, and at my request...Pinkberry for lunch. I had a Pomegranate and original twist with dark choc crisps and raspberries. I will get that exact same order as long as Pomegranate stays on the menu, I tried the grapefruit flavor, and while it was delicious, not ready to stray from my #1 favorite flavor.

     

    The pork that follows is some of the best pork I've ever made at home, juicy, flavorful and super tender. It tastes like it was meant to be in a bahn mi  sandwich tomorrow, I have a feeling some crusty rolls will find their way into my kitchen tomorrow evening. At first glance the recipe may seem long but give it a shot, it's quite simple and well worth the wait. I would say it feeds 4 comfortably, with potential for leftovers. You will run out of soup before meat so sandwiches can be on the leftovers menu. Also feel free to add in any noodles you like, follow the package directions, as each are different, or omit entirely. It has potential be a good vegetarian soup if you add in more veggies, but unfortunately I'm not sure how to get around the flavor of chicken stock, it's a pretty essential flavor for this to taste authentic.

     

     

    {Prep time: around 10-20 minutes, depending on your knife speedTotal time: between 45 minutes and an hour, about half of it is minimally hands on.}

    1 pork tenderloin (about 3 lbs), trimmed of fat

    Marinade:
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    2 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
    3 garlic cloves, finely minced
    1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes

    Soup:
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    1 (2-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 shallot, thinly sliced
    2 thai chilis (more or less to taste, but start small, they pack a big punch)
    2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth (can substitute up to 2 cups with water)
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional but only if you REALLY can't find it, please find your local asian grocer.
    1 10-ounce package of sliced cremini (shitake would work wonderfully, but I was cheap cheap) mushrooms
    4 heads of baby bok choy

    Garnish (essential!):
    1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced
    Dark sesame oil
    Limes and cilantro to serve

    1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and put it into a large heavy duty zip lock bag along with your pork loin. Make sure it's covered and refrigerate for 1-8 hours.

    2. Prep and chop the rest of your ingredients.

    3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, line a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with foil, then lightly oil the foil or spray with nonstick spray. Roast tenderloin on the middle rack for 15 minutes.

    4. While the meat roasts, start the soup. Add the oil to a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook the garlic, ginger and shallot until softened and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add in your stock and bring to a simmer, then add in your mushrooms and bok choy.

    In theory your meat will be ready for a basting right about now, but no worries if you are moving at a slower pace, it will all come together just fine, just baste then go back to step 4.

    5. Brush the meat with the juices from the pan, and place back in the oven for 20-30 more minutes. Always use a meat thermometer to test doneness, the temperature should read 145 degrees. Take out the tenderloin and let it rest, allowing the juices to redestribute  for 5 minutes before slicing.

    6. Assemble a garnish platter for sharing. I like to do sliced limes for an added sour flavor, sliced green onions and cilantro. Also put out the sesame oil, it’s delicious drizzled on at the end.

    7. Slice your meat on a diagonal, mostly just for looks, and serve the soup in large bowls with the meat placed on top.