Tag Archives: wontons

Korean Pork Tenderloin and Wonton “Lettuce” Cups

I’ve cooked pork tenderloin in several ways before this and, although they were delicious, I wanted to try something different. So, I went in a Korean direction and marinated a couple of butterflied tenderloin in a mixture containing the spicy chili pepper paste, “gochujang”. Since it’s such a lean piece of meat, overcooking has to be avoided carefully or the result will be dry.

I was going to make lettuce wraps with the sliced meat but I forgot to buy the lettuce, so I used some leftover wonton ‘cups’ from my freezer. The result would make a lovely appetizer.

Korean (Gochujang) Pork Tenderloin – serves 3-4

1/2 cup gochujang
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey** or brown sugar
1**-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1 large piece of pork tenderloin (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs)
pinch of salt

** What I used

Garnish – bunch of cilantro
extra gochujang

In a large bowl, whisk together the gochujang, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and fish sauce until it is totally combined.

Butterfly your pork tenderloin so that it can open like a book, and is about 1 1/2 inches thick.

Season the pork with a good pinch of salt. Place the marinade in a large Ziplock bag, and place the pork into the bag. A large bowl with a lid is another option. Marinate the pork for 12-48 hours.

When your pork has marinated, prepare a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. (You can broil the tenderloin in the oven if it’s too cold to grill outside or you don’t have a grill pan.) Pull the pork from the marinade, and reserve the marinade to the side.

NOTE: If you want to use the marinade as a sauce, place it in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for several minutes. Pour some into a separate bowl so you can use some of this to baste the tenderloin while it’s grilling and not contaminate your sauce with any raw meat juices.

Grill the pork tenderloin, flipping it occasionally and basting with the reserved boiled marinade, until the pork is just cooked through and is no longer translucent at all in the center. Remember, your pork will keep cooking when removed from the grill.

Let the pork rest for 5-8 minutes, and then thinly slice across the grain and on the diagonal using a sharp knife.

Serve the slices fanned out on a platter atop the cilantro leaves and stems, and pass extra gochujang for dipping on the side. You may also serve the pork over plain cooked rice, dressing the meat with some of the cooked marinade.

For the ‘lettuce’ cups, make this quick and tasty pickled coleslaw. The pork tenderloin is also good in tortilla wraps or on buns.

Quick Pickled Coleslaw

2 cups coleslaw vegetable mix
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Coleslaw dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp wasabi paste
a pinch of black pepper

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and spoon over the coleslaw and cilantro leaves. Let sit for at least half an hour. For filling the cups, tilt the bowl so that the extra dressing drains off.

Assembling the wonton cups

Spoon one or two tablespoons of the pickled coleslaw into each wonton cup. Add sliced pork tenderloin and drizzle some spicy mayo over the top.

Sage and Brown Butter Sauce …

Well, I finally bought a bunch of fresh sage and gave the titled sauce a try.

I researched several recipes and came up with a dish that I thought would showcase it, thawed leftover wontons and microwaved the sweet potato for the filling. And then I happened to be in the Italian grocery store to pick up a bag of all purpose flour and was tempted by a package of fresh gnocchi. I ended up with a couple of dishes which I loved. I’d make either one again.

I rewrote the recipe below to reflect the fact that I FORGOT to put the pine nuts in the filling.

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon, Pine Nut, Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon, Pine Nut, Sage Brown Butter Sauce – makes 18 ravioli, 3 each as an appetizer, 6 as a main

For the Ravioli

1 (1-pound) sweet potato (baked squash or pumpkin may also be used)
2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
18 wonton wrappers
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

6 quarts water to cook the ravioli, 1 tbsp salt
Cooking spray

For the Lemon, Pine Nut, Sage Brown Butter Sauce

1/4 cup butter
8-12 leaves fresh sage, depending on size and preference
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp pine nuts

Grated parmesan, about a tablespoon per serving

Optional garnish – large fresh or fried sage leaves

Preparing the filling:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pierce the potato several times with a fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.  Cool. Peel potato; mash.

For a faster alternative, put the pierced sweet potato in the microwave. Cook on high for 3 1/2 min. Turn over and repeat. Cut potato in half and scoop out the cooked flesh with a tablespoon. No peeling necessary. Mash with a fork.

Combine cooked sweet potato, cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Making the ravioli:

Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon 1/2 tablespoon potato mixture into the center of each wrapper.

Brush the edges of the wontons with beaten egg white; bring the 2 opposite corners to the center.

Press edges together to seal, forming a triangle and pressing out as much air as possible as you do. Repeat procedure with the remaining wonton wrappers, potato filling, and egg white.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.  Add about a heaping teaspoon or two of salt to the water. Add 9 ravioli; cook 2 minutes or until done. Remove the ravioli from pot with a slotted spoon.  Lightly coat cooked wontons with cooking spray; keep warm.  Repeat the procedure with remaining ravioli.

Making the sauce:

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the lightest part of the butter seems to be turned a golden brown, add the sage leaves and pine nuts to the pan. Cook for a minute or two, or until butter is lightly browned.

Take off the heat, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and pepper.

Drizzle the sauce over the ravioli. You may also add your warmed ravioli to the sauce, stir gently to coat and serve in a more rustic fashion out of the saute pan.

Sprinkle grated Parmesan over each plate just before serving.

Garnish with fresh or fried sage leaves, if desired.

Gnocchi with Mushroom, Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Gnocchi in Mushroom Sage Brown Butter Sauce – serves 2 to 4 depending on appetite

1 pound of cooked frozen (use package directions) or fresh gnocchi

1/4 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
8-12 leaves fresh sage, depending on size and preference
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups of sliced white mushrooms

Grated Parmesan, about a tablespoon per serving

Optional garnish – large fried sage leaves

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown and the lightest part of the butter seems to be turned a golden brown.

Add the sage leaves to the pan. Cook for a minute or two. Take off the heat, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and pepper.

Add drained cooked gnocchi to the sauce, stir gently to coat and serve.

Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over each plate just before serving.

Optional crunchy sage leaf garnish:

Wash and pat dry large, fresh, sage leaves. Deep fry in an inch or so of hot vegetable oil or in a small frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of hot melted butter, turning over carefully to fry both sides. Remove to a plate covered with a couple of thicknesses of paper towel and allow to dry and crisp up.