Five Spice Pork Tenderloin

A couple of months ago, I bought a packet of Chinese five spice blend for a particular recipe. Ever since that time, I did not use it again. It always stands there on the shelf next to the other herbs and spices waiting to be picked up but most of the time I do not know how to incorporate it in my cooking!

This blend of spices incorporates cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel and chili pepper, which to me are synonymous to the upcoming festive season. I felt inspired and decided to put this dish together.

From the local market, I got a nice piece of lean pork tenderloin which I covered in the spice mix. To some extent, the five spice blend gives a certain sweetness to the dish and I wanted to compliment that with sweet potatoes. I opted to balance this sweetness with the earthy flavour from mushrooms and also added some green beans. However, if mushrooms are not your favourite, you can serve it with any other vegetable of your choice.

If you want to impress your guests this festive season, this is definitely a great meal! Once it is plated it looks like a lot of work was involved but ultimately it is very easy to prepare.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 500g pork tenderloin
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 140g champignon mushrooms
  • 200g green beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp five spice Chinese blend
  • 2 tsp dried thyme, divided
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt & black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into long sticks or thick rounds, your choice. Place them on a baking sheet. Brush them lightly with olive oil, season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle the dried thyme. Place them in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, put an ovenproof pan over high heat. Cover the pork tenderloin with the five spice powder and a pinch of salt. Make sure that the meat is evenly covered all around. Once the pan is smoking hot, pour a tablespoon of oil and sear the meat evenly on all sides. This will lock all the meat juices inside and give a nice golden colour on the outside.
  4. Put the pan in the oven together with the sweet potatoes and let it roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes (for medium-well done) or until cooked to your likeness.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the mushrooms into quarters and mince the garlic. In a small pan, saute the mushrooms, green beans and garlic in a tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle some thyme for extra flavour.
  6. Once the meat is ready, remove from the oven and let it rest for 8-10 minutes before cutting into it.
  7. Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions and serve together with the sweet potatoes and vegetables.


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