I just got back from vacation, and apart from the usual souvenir purchases, I brought back with me a new recipe. You see, I went home to visit my family, and my sister made this amazing pork loin in tamarind sauce. It wasn't just finger licking good, it was really easy to make too: DOUBLE BONUS!
Naturally, when I came back home I had to try it. The tamarind juice wasn't hard to find either; my local grocery store had it in the ethnic food section. If you are unable to find tamarind juice, you can mix lime juice or white wine vinegar with equal parts of light brown sugar.
What is tamarind?
Tamarind is a long curved brown tropical fruit that comes in a bean-like pod. It is a fruit from the tamarind tree, which is native to Africa. The tamarind traveled to Persia (modern day Iran) where it was named tamar-hindi (Indian date). The name comes from the date like appearance of the interior brown pulp. By the way, I have a couple more recipes that use tamarind on my blog. Check out Thai Red Chicken Curry and Spicy Thai Style Lettuce Wraps.
My recipe for tamarind sauce can be the star of any meal because of its unique sweet and tart flavor. I like to serve it with white rice, and black beans. Plain, simple, and very tropical. This dish is a pretty easy way to bring something exotic to your weeknight meal without having to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. Just as a side note: you can use pork chops if you prefer. If you have leftovers, you can whip up some tacos the next day, just a thought!
Roasted pork loin in tamarind sauce a new go-to dish for my busy weeknight meals, or for a casual dinner party. I hope you like it too, and if you do, please share with your friends! Spread the love!
Quick tip: If you want an enhanced flavor for your pork loin in tamarind sauce, I recommend to marinate it for up to 6 hours. You can even do this the night before. Just a thought, that's what my sister does, and it's what I do.
Step by step photos:
- Gather all your ingredients and have them measured, chopped and ready to go before starting.
- Mix together the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic, and butter.
- In a large pitcher add the tamarind juice, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
- Whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved.
- Add the herb butter garlic mixture to the pitcher and stir to combine.
- Place the pork loins in a zip top bag and pour in the marinade. Carefully give the bag a few squeezes to coat the loins.
- Expel the air from the bag and seal. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is even better.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Place the pork loins in a large oven safe braising pan or roasting pan with a lid. Pour in all the juice from the bag. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Baste and turn every 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Uncover and broil for about 5 minutes to crisp up to top and watch carefully.
Frequently asked questions:
- How long can I store the cooked pork loins in the refrigerator? Once the pork has cooled you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- How do I reheat the pork? Reheat the pork loin in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and stop to stir every 30-45 seconds until hot. Once reheated do not cool and store again in the refrigerator, consume it right away. So only reheat the amount you will consume.
- Can I freeze the pork loins? Yes, allow the pork to cool and you can freeze in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator and then reheat in the microwave.
If you are a fan of pork loins for their ease of preparation here are a few more recipes to try:
Bring the flavors or Southeast Asia to your home with Thai style pork loin with peanut. Move onto some Latin flavors with a pork loin served with pico de gallo and cheesy grits. One great dish for grilling is this classic Spanish style pork loin or prueba de cerdo with the bold flavors of smoked paprika.
Pork Loin in Tamarind Sauce Recipe
Enjoy a tropical style pork loin in tamarind sauce with garlic and herbs. Melt in your mouth tender with sweet and delicate flavors.
Prepare the marinade:
- In a bowl mix together salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic, and butter.
In a separate 2 cup or larger pitcher mix together tamarind juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the herb butter mixture to the pitcher and whisk to combine.
Marinate the pork loins:
Place pork loins in a zip top bag. Pour marinade over the pork loins in the bag and turn them over a few times to coat them evenly.
Expel the air from the bag and seal closed. Marinate for 2 hours. You can even marinate them the night before.
Cooking the pork loins:
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Place the pork loins in a large oven safe braising pan or roasting pan with a lid. Pour in all the juice from the bag. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Baste and turn every 5 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
Uncover and broil for about 5 minutes to crisp up to top and watch carefully.
Remove from oven. Place pork loins on a cutting board. Cover them and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes. Reserve the sauce.
Slice to the desired thickness and place on a serving platter. Drizzle the sauce over the slices and serve.
Originally published August 2016 and updated December 2020.