I have made so many disappointing grilled, glazed pork tenderloins.  They look so good and yet they never seem to work for me.  I have the same relationship with J Crew clothes.

Typically what happens is the glaze gets completely charred and never penetrates beyond the surface of the meat.  No matter what delicious things go into the glaze — apricot jam, homemade barbecue sauce, angel’s tears — it ends up tasting like carbon and unseasoned pork.

This recipe addresses that problem by cutting the pork into chunks, tossing with some kosher salt and letting sit briefly (essentially a quick dry-brine), threading onto skewers and then brushing on the glaze.   In this way you are covering more surface area of the pork and because it’s a kebab only parts of it get charred.  With that solved, let’s work on something important like halting the decline of civilization.  I have some thoughts.  For another day. Let’s just say a ban on wearing pajama bottoms outdoors is central to my manifesto.

I did find this to be a tiny bit salty from the dry brine and I only had one shot at shopping for ingredients so could not get CI’s recommended hoisin sauce (Kikkoman’s).  I actually might skip the salting part next time and will be on the lookout for the sine qua non of hoisin sauce when I make this again, which I probably will.

There is a nice primer in this book (page 120) on grilling non-traditional vegetables; not recipes per se, just advice.  In case you didn’t know, you can grill endive, radicchio, scallions and fennel. And bok choy!  So I applied these guidelines to a nice head of bok choy I bought at the farmer’s market and it almost outshone the pork.  Per the guidelines I merely cut it in half, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with a bit of coarse salt and pepper, and grilled.  You wouldn’t think that would amount to much but wow, was it good.  Smoky and crunchy and outshining expectations and all the while you get to say to yourself “I’m eating a cruciferous vegetable!  I can feel myself turning into Gwyneth Paltrow!”  I also made some plain old white rice to make a delicious, healthy and quick meal.


Grilled Pork Kebabs with Hoisin and Five-Spice from Master of the Grill

Category: Featured, Master of the Grill

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Hoisin and Five-Spice from Master of the Grill


  • 2 (12-oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons five-star powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • vegetable oil spray
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin


  1. Toss pork and salt together in large bowl, set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk five-spice powder, garlic powder, and cornstarch together in bowl. Add hoisin to five-spice mixture and stir to combine. Measure out 1-1/2 tablespoons hoisin mixture and set aside.
  2. Add remaining hoisin mixture to pork and toss to coat. Thread pork onto four 12" metal skewers, leaving 1/4" between pieces. Spray both sides of meat generously with oil spray.
  3. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  4. FOR A GAS GRILL: turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burners.
  5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place skewers on hotter side of grill and grill until well charred, 3-4 minutes. Flip skewers, brush with reserved hoisin mixture and continue to grill until second side is well charred and meat registers 145 degrees, 3-4 minutes longer. Transfer to serving platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.


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