Chinese Five-Spice Pork Tacos with Nectarine Salsa

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

In this easy weeknight recipe, sweet, ripe nectarines are used to make a spicy-sweet salsa, while Chinese five-spice powder—a fragrant combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns—adds a lot of flavor to mild pork tenderloin. Peaches, plums and mangoes also work great in the salsa, so pick whichever fruit seems best at the market.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g)
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 nectarines, each pitted and cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. seeded and minced jalapeño chile
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped red onion
  • 10 to 12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.
Brush the tenderloin with the canola oil. Using your hands, season all over with the Chinese five-spice powder and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Arrange the tenderloin on the grate directly over the heat and grill, turning with tongs every 3 minutes or so, until nicely browned on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F (60°C), 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut the pork into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices.

While the pork is resting, make the nectarine salsa: Brush the nectarines with the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the nectarines on the grate directly over the heat and grill, using tongs to turn as needed, until soft and nicely grill-marked on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer the nectarines to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, finely dice. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro and onion. Taste and adjust the seasoning and set aside.

To assemble, fill the tortillas with the pork and spoon the nectarine salsa on top, dividing them evenly. Garnish a dollop of the sour cream. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Taco Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen 2014)

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