Mojo-Marinated Pork Tenderloin (Pernil)
Food and Drink

Copyright© 2016 by Ronaldo Linares. Excerpted from Chef Ronaldo’s SABORES DE CUBA . Photography: Kelly Campbell Photography. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Available at and in bookstores nationwide.

Mojo-Marinated Pork Tenderloin (Pernil)

"This recipe takes the classic pork shoulder dish (pernil) and makes it healthier while still giving you the amazing Cubano flavor that we love. I have substituted pork tenderloin for pork shoulder in this version of the recipe. I can hear my father’s voice screaming at me, “Oye, chico, what are you doing changing the dish?” I’m not changing the essence
of the dish, I’m just modifying it so people can enjoy it in a healthier way."

Prep Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 15–20 minutes Serves: 5 Serving Size: 1 (4-ounce) piece pork


2 navel oranges, peeled and cut in half

2 lemons, peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons distilled vinegar

2 stems fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem

1 20-ounce pork tenderloin

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Grab your blender to make the mojo marinade. Add oranges, lemons, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, vinegar and fresh thyme leaves to the blender. Pulsate the mixture four times, then purée for 1 minute. Set aside 4 ounces mojo and add the rest to a resealable plastic bag.

Remove the silver skin from the pork tenderloin. Add pork tenderloin to the resealable plastic bag with the mojo. Marinate pork for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.

Remove the pork tenderloin from the bag (discarding the marinade in the bag) and pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat an ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and wait 10 seconds for oil to come up to temperature. Brown both sides of pork tenderloin in the pan, then place pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Internal temperature of cooked pork should read 145°F.  

Remove pork from oven and let it rest for a few minutes so juices redistribute. Drizzle some of the reserved mojo marinade on the pork and serve.