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Marinade Recipe: Easy, Healthy Asian-style Marinade for Chicken or Pork Tenderloin

Updated on March 28, 2011

Different Cuts Of Pork At A Market


Easy Chicken Marinade To Wow A Dinner Party

My mom always used this marinade to make her pork tenderloin, which might be the best pork tenderloin I have ever had. This is a marinade recipe for baked chicken or grilled pork, or a marinade recipe for grilled chicken or baked pork.

It's one of the first recipes I ever made when I first lived on my own, and I still make it for dinner parties some 15 years later. In short, this marinade is a winner. It is fast recipe; it is an easy marinade; it's made with ingredients I almost always have on hand. Best of all, this boneless meat marinade recipe is versatile.

I usually use this marinade with pork tenderloin. Recently, when Whole Foods was out of tenderloins, I used this marinade on boneless pork chops. I have also used this easy marinade for chicken, and the flavors are probably strong enough to stand up to beef or lamb, too. Any meat that you want to grill, bake, roast or sear can benefit from this marinade.

Pork cuts


Asian-style Chicken Marinade or Pork Marinade Ingredients

All the ingredients for this fast marinade are available in most grocery stores. Both my Safeway and my Whole Foods carry these items.

  • Soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)
  • Mirin (a sweet Japanese wine available in the Asian foods sections of most stores. If you can't find Mirin, you can substitute honey or brown sugar)
  • Sake (any cheap, dry variety will do)
  • Oil (I use peanut oil or canola oil)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step-By-Step:How To Make The Marinade

Making this marinade takes just five minutes.

  1. In a bowl or flat pyrex dish, combine 1 part soy sauce, 1 part Mirin, 1 part sake and 3 parts oil. Depending on how much meat you are marinating, it could be one-third a cup of the first three ingredients and one cup of oil, for example. Use your judgement for how much of this marinade you will need for your pork tenderloin of chicken breasts.
  2. To the liquid, add 3 cloves coarsely chopped garlic and a good sized knob of fresh grated and chopped ginger. Neither the garlic nor the ginger gets cooked — they are just there to imbue flavor — so do not worry about making them pretty or making them small.
  3. I like to leave the pork tenderloins or other meats in the soaking in the marinade, covered, in the refrigerator all day when i am at work. If I can, I will turn the meat a few times to soak both sides. If I am pressed for time, I will marinate the meat for a minimum of 30 minutes on the counter, not in the refrigerator.

That's it; that's the whole marinade. I usually bake the pork tenderloins in the oven until they are done, but you can also grill or even saute the meat to cook it.

This is a crowd pleaser that's simple enough for every day, but tasty enough to serve to guests. I promise that if you do, at least one person will ask for the recipe. Icing on the cake is that this is a healthy recipe, too: it's low fat if you marinate a lean meat, and it is low-calorie yet very flavorful. You will not need a sauce with this dish; it stands on its own.


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    • s.carver profile image

      s.carver 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks, Lisa. I used a variation on this marinade for lamb at Easter. It worked on that, too!

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Great hub. I love anything that is quick, easy and healthy! Voted up, shared and linked to my Eating Healthy-Feeling Great Series! Lisa :)

    • lyjo profile image

      lyjo 7 years ago

      This also sounds delicious...we love pork tenderloin, thanks, will bookmark this one too! Take care!