A dry rub blend of spices and peanuts rubbed into the meat forms a spicy crust that is a great alternative to a marinade. You don’t have to wait for the meat to absorb the marinade flavors. The pork is roasted in the oven. Make sure your oven is at temperature.

Thai cuisine generally uses rice noodles. If they’re available, use them for this recipe and boil them according to package instructions. I use fresh or steamed Chinese egg noodles, because they are sold in most supermarkets and work well.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestions: Try a rich, fruity white viognier.

Helpful Hints:

  • Substitute 1 tablespoon water mixed with white vinegar and a pinch of sugar, if rice vinegar is unavailable.
  • Minced garlic can be found in the produce section of the market.
  • Use fresh angel hair pasta, if Chinese noodles are unavailable.

Countdown:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Make pork.
  • While pork roasts, make noodles and zucchini.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 small jar dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, ¾ pound pork tenderloin, ¼ pound fresh or dried Chinese noodles, ¾ pound zucchini, 1small bottle Chinese oyster sauce, 1 small bottle rice wine vinegar and 1 small bottle ground coriander.

Staples: vegetable oil spray, minced garlic, brown sugar, salt and black peppercorns.

THAI PEANUT RUB

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • ¾ pound pork tenderloin
  • 20 dry roasted, unsalted peanuts (will make 2 tablespoons ground peanuts)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil. Spray with vegetable oil spray. Remove visible fat from pork. Place pork on the tray and spray pork with olive oil spray. Chop peanuts, cilantro, garlic, ground coriander, brown sugar and salt in a food processor or finely chop by hand. Rub pork with mixture on both sides, pressing mixture into the pork. Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Turn over and continue to roast for 10 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees. Remove to a cutting board and slice.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 291 calories (32 percent from fat), 10.4 g fat (2 g saturated, 5.1 g monounsaturated), 108 mg cholesterol, 38.3 g protein, 10.8 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 386 mg sodium.

CHINESE NOODLES WITH ZUCCHINI

  • ¼ cup Chinese oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided use
  • 3 cups zucchini cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ pound fresh or steamed Chinese noodles
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix oyster sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic together in a small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil is smoking, add zucchini, noodles and water. Stir-fry 5 minutes. The water will be absorbed. Draw the zucchini and noodles to the side of the wok making a hole in the center. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the wok and stir fry 1 minute. Spread the noodles and zucchini to the sides of the wok or skillet and add the sauce mixture to the center hole. Draw the ingredients into the sauce. Toss well to combine the sauce with the zucchini and noodles. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 413 calories (36 percent from fat), 16.7 g fat (2.8 g saturated, 6.1 g monounsaturated), 48 mg cholesterol, 10.9 g protein, 55.7 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g fiber, 1,014 mg sodium.

Recipes by Linda Gassenheimer

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