Perfect Pork Tenderloin

Perfectly cooked marinated pork tenderloin marinated in garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, dijon mustard and sesame oil finished with a simple glaze.

OK, don’t freak out on me. But I cook pork tenderloin and loin medium, leaving a tad of pink. It’s perfectly safe! If you don’t believe me, read this article. People have been overcooking pork forever, mostly due to the old USDA guidelines. They've finally updated them! The new recommended temperature is 145 degrees – a whopping FIFTEEN degrees lower than before. That’s a huge difference.
“Our consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, resulting in a less-than-optimal eating experience,” said Pamela Johnson, director of consumer communications for the National Pork Board. “The new guidelines will help consumers enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy – and safe – temperature.”
I've been cooking it to 150-ish for quite some time based on the Food Network recommendations which are usually lower than the USDA. I figure Food Network knows more about what tastes good than the USDA.

If you don’t want to try it this way or if you prefer yours well done, by all means, cook away! I’ll post the temperatures below so you’ll have a guideline for perfectly cooked pork!

Now, about the recipe! I love Asian inspired marinades with pork! And the leftovers are perfect for fried rice the next day!

Perfect Pork Tenderloin marinated in garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, dijon mustard and sesame oil finished with a simple glaze.
Perfect Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sesame oil*
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Rinse tenderloins under cold water. Pat dry and add to a gallon-sized zip-top bag or sealable container; set aside.

To make the marinade, combine garlic, ginger, pepper, brown sugar, soy sauce and Dijon mustard in a small bowl and mix well. Whisk in sesame oil and vegetable oil until mixture is emulsified (oil isn't separated from the liquid). Pour marinade over tenderloins and refrigerate 8-12 hours.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange tenderloins in baking dish and pour marinade over tenderloins. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Combine ingredients for glaze and brush over both tenderloins. Return tenderloins to oven and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes or until cooked to your desired temperature (per Food Network recommendations):

Medium rare - 145 degrees
Medium - 150 degrees
Well done - 160 degrees

Remove tenderloins from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

*If you don’t have any sesame oil or don’t feel like buying it, the marinade will still be delicious but I promise once you've cooked with sesame oil you’ll fall in love with it and find yourself adding it to all sorts of things (grilled or roasted vegetables, stir-fry, marinades, sauces, etc.). Just use it sparingly as it’s pretty strong. Refrigerate to store to extend the shelf-life.


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  1. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but what size tenderloins? Sounds so good; can't wait to try.

  2. Most weigh approximately 1 pound.

  3. Sesame oil is the best!! Grilled or sautéed veggies in sesame oil are soooo yummy!!

  4. Looks Amazing! I remember an episode of Emeril from years ago when he was telling his audience to not overcook the pork. I had in my head that he even said then to cook to 145.

  5. My dad told me about cooking pork with a tad pink about twenty years ago, and We survived.
    Great advice.

  6. My mother cooked pork very pink (as well as lamb, her burgers were also pink but beef? Was still mooing). Glad to know I'm not alone in hating overcooked meat.

  7. This looks amazing! Can I make this in the crockpot instead? Would I just throw in the pork and pour the marinade over it and cook for (?) hours? Thank you!

    1. Perhaps but I really don't know how long to cook it. I'd guess and say high for 3-4 hours.

  8. Looks delicious, what would you suggest as side dishes, besides green beans?

  9. This is a great recipe. It would be even better if I could ever remember to marinate over night! Thanks

  10. Which sesame oil do you prefer - light or dark?

  11. Can you cook this in crocpot? How long would it take? Thanks

  12. Should we sear the tenderloins before roasting? I usually do. Thanks for info.

  13. This was delicious! We had it for dinner tonight, and the port was super tender, and so flavorful! I only had one tenderloin, so I cut the sauce in half. It took longer than 30 minutes in my oven, but you never know about ovens. Thanks so much!

  14. We made this last night and it was A. Ma. Zing!! on our regular rotation list now lol. Very good marinade even thought we only had 90 minutes. Can hardly wait to marinade all day


Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy