These sous vide char siu pork tenderloins are a straight mouthgasm. First off, sous vide pork tenderloin is simply unbelievable. It is insanely tender and juicy. The definition of perfection.
Then you glaze the tenderloin with a delectable char siu marinade and you have the perfect flavor profile.
Do yourself a favor and make this recipe stat.
An essential part of cooking sous vide is putting ingredients in an air-tight bag or container. The two most common techniques to package your ingredients are vacuum sealing and using the water displacement method.
A vacuum sealer removes all the air and seals the contents of a plastic bag through a vacuum. This process ensures the food is airtight and properly sealed, and prevents the bag from floating which can result in uneven cooking. If you are in the market for a vacuum sealer, I’d recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a sous vide bag. Next, submerge the bag in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag. Once all the air is out, zip up the bag and you're all set!
Either method works for this recipe. Since we are adding a marinade in the bag, please make sure your vacuum sealer is capable of sealing liquids. If not, please use the displacement method.
Pork Tenderloin Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking marinated pork tenderloin at 60C/140F for 2 hours is the perfect combo. Cooking the tenderloin for two hours break down the connective tissue (collagen), which results in extremely tender, juicy pork. Also, cooking the tenderloin at a temperature of 140F ensures that the pork is a beautiful medium rare with great texture.
Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule).
Although this combination of time and temperature is our favorite, we recommend you explore different combinations to find your personal favorite. Our cooking guide can always help you find your perfect time and temperature.
Can You Sous Vide Frozen Pork Tenderloin?
The quick answer is, absolutely! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is an ultra convenient, safe way to prepare your protein. Just take the food directly from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe) and let the sous vide work its magic.
The only thing you’ll need to adjust is the cook time. If you are cooking frozen pork tenderloin sous vide we recommend adding an additional hour to the cook time, so three hours total for the tenderloin.
Recommended Searing Methods for Pork Tenderloin
Searing is by far the most important step in cooking sous vide. If want your food to look like it is Michelin star quality, you are going to have to get a rich sear on it. Failing to do so will make your dinner guests wonder why they let you cook again.
If you want an amazing sear, you’ve got to:
1. Pat the meat completely dry with a paper towel
2. Season generously with salt or seasoning of your choice
3. Sear at extremely high temperatures.
At this point you want to determine the best searing method. For pork tenderloin, we suggest pan searing, grilling or using a searing torch. The trick is getting the pan, grill or torch extremely hot, then searing for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This results in a quick, high-quality sear without drying out the pork.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule.
The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Next Level Sous Vide –Looking to take your sous vide skills to the next level? The Next Level Sous Vide eCookbook will push your culinary boundaries with 65 delicious recipes that are equally approachable and tasty. With pro tips and a detailed explanation of the sous vide process, you will be on your way to maximize your sous vide skills.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Char Siu Pork Tenderloin
In this recipe we glaze a tender, juicy sous vide pork tenderloin with a classic Chinese char siu marinade, and the results are incredible.
- 2 - 3 lbs pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon five spice powder
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 drops red food coloring (optional)
In a bowl, mix together hoisin, soy sauce, five spice powder, sesame oil and red food coloring.
Put the pork tenderloin in a freezer bag with the char siu marinade, and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Put the bag in the fridge, and let the pork marinade for 4 to 24 hours (optional, but recommended).
Set sous vide machine to 60C/140F. Remove marinade from freezer bag and set aside for further use. Once the target temperature is reached, drop pork tenderloin in the bath for 2 hours.
Remove bag from bath. Take pork out of the bag, pat dry and lightly season with salt to taste.
Heat small sauce pan on medium, add marinade from bag and honey and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened.
Heat a large skillet on high and add oil. Sear for 90 seconds on each side, brushing the marinade onto the pork as it sears. Remove from pan and place on plate to rest. Cut the pork into desired size, and serve with fried rice, noodles, and/or vegetables and enjoy!
To say this was a hit with the dinner party would be an understatement - all of us remarked that it was perhaps the best pork tenderloin that we had ever had and at breakfast the next morning we collectively agreed that sous vide is the only way we'll cook pork tenderloin from here on out. Followed recipe exactly - marinated the tenderloins for about 20 hours - cooked at 140 F for 2 hours - next time I will likely bump it down just a bit - maybe 138 F. Seared on direct heat in a Weber kettle.
Thanks Jason - this one is indeed a winner.
Jason Veselak says
Thank you so much, Paul!! I am so glad you enjoyed it.
This was probably the best thing I've ever eaten. Served it with fried rice and it was absolutely incredible.
The only differences I made were
* doubling the marinade/sauce (I like my food saucy)
*marinating it for longer (about 48 hours - not planned, just didn't end up cooking it the day I planned on making it.)
*followed the previous commenter's advice about cooking it at 138 since I like my meat more rare.
* didn't sear as long, as my stove is very hot and the first 90 seconds on one side burnt it a little. I did 90 seconds on that side + 90 seconds total for the other 3 sides.
I have never commented on a recipe before, but since this was so amazing I figured I had to thank you for posting it!
Jason Veselak says
Wow thank you so much, Dan! Truly blown away by your feedback and so happy that you loved it. This is one of my personal favorite recipes as well that I always whip up to entertain guests. Thanks again!
Turned out very good. I marinated it for about 18 hours - but added the honey to the marinade instead of where I should have. I’ll do it right the next time - but I still got rave reviews! Excellent!
Daniel S says
Meat perfectly cooked and delicious marinade.
Mike V says
I did the same as Zen and it was still the best I"ve made. It was like eating filet mignon; it was that tender. I was in heaven.