Grilled Pork Kebabs with Hoisin and Five-Spice
Pork tenderloin is popular because it’s lean and reasonably priced, but it lacks flavor and tends to be dry. Grilling increases flavor but only on the meat’s exterior. By cutting the tenderloin into 1-inch cubes for kebabs, we create more surface area for flavorful char. We also salt the chunks briefly to help the pork retain moisture. We toss the pork pieces in a flavorful, low-moisture glaze (which contains added cornstarch to help it cling) and thread them onto skewers. A mid-cooking application of glaze adds extra zing, and the brief time on the grill minimizes moisture loss.
2 (12-ounce) pork tenderloins, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
4 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Vegetable oil spray
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Toss pork and salt together in large bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk five-spice powder, garlic powder, and cornstarch together in bowl. Add hoisin to five-spice mixture and stir to combine. Set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin mixture.
2. Add remaining hoisin mixture to pork and toss to coat. Thread pork onto four 12-inch metal skewers, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces. Spray both sides of meat generously with oil spray.
3A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
3B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place skewers on hotter side of grill and grill until well charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip skewers, brush with reserved hoisin mixture, and continue to grill until second side is well charred and meat registers 140 degrees, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.