5 Best Alternatives To Replace Pork Tenderloin In Your Next Recipes
Pork tenderloin is one of the most expensive cuts of pork with versatile uses and a perfectly tender texture.
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Due to this fact, it is no surprise that this cut is often out of stock quickly.
So what other cuts of meat or even plant-based ingredients can substitute for pork tenderloin?
Let’s figure it out in this article.
What is pork tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is a small cut that runs along the backbone of the hog.
It is often long, narrow, and boneless.
This is the leanest and tenderest cut of pork, making it one of the most expensive cuts of pork, along with pork loin chops.
Due to its small size, pork tenderloin is easy to handle and cook.
It is often cooked with dry heat, such as baking, roasting, or grilling for about 10 to 15 minutes per side.
The resulting dish should be juicy and fork-tender.
Since there is little or no fat in this cut, pork tenderloin has a mild flavor that easily absorbs the flavor of spices, herbs, and pairs well with many ingredients like sauces made from wine, fruit juice, or vegetables like broccoli and squash.
Pork tenderloin can be used as a great substitute in any recipe that calls for beef or lamb steaks at a more reasonable price compared to other kinds of red meat.
Can you substitute pork tenderloin in cooking recipes?
Although pork tenderloin is a sought-after cut that any home cook desires to have to complete their delicious and nutritious meal, it can be substituted in case you are unable to purchase this cut or want to go vegan.
In fact, it is quite hard to find a pork cut that is similar to pork tenderloin besides pork loin.
So keep reading to see what you can use to substitute for pork tenderloin in your next recipe.
What can you substitute for pork tenderloin?
Below is the list of the top five pork tenderloin alternatives that can be easily found on the market:
1. Pork loin
Pork loin might be the only pork cut that is similar to pork tenderloin.
This is a bigger cut from the loin section of the pig.
Pork loin can be sold bold in or boneless.
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With the bones intact, you can slice this big cut into individual chops and serve them to every member of your family.
Pork loin has a thin layer of fat on one side, so cook it with the fat side up so that the fat can melt and moisten the meat during the cooking process.
Pork loin is also perfect for baking or roasting recipes, but it will take a bit longer to cook because it is much larger and thicker.
Make sure to check the internal temperature of the meat to prevent it from drying out.
2. Beef tenderloin
You can also use beef tenderloin to substitute for the pork counterpart.
Beef tenderloin (or known as beef filet) has a similar appearance to pork tenderloin, and it is the most tender cut of beef, making it the most expensive cut too.
The beef version also has a stronger flavor compared to pork, so make sure you prefer the beefy flavor and can afford this cut.
3. Chicken breast
Chicken breast is a healthier alternative for pork tenderloin, and it is more budget-friendly too.
Chicken breast is the leanest part of the chicken, so it is very tender when properly cooked, but can also easily become dry and chewy if overcooked.
Chicken breast is a rich source of protein while being low in saturated fat, making it one of the favorite ingredients in the diet of many people who want to lose some weight and build muscle.
4. Textured soy protein
If you want to go vegan but don’t want to give up on your pork tenderloin, then substitute it with textured soy protein (TSP).
This ingredient is also known as soy meat, which means you can use it to substitute meat without eating any animal protein, but soy protein instead.
TSP comes in different sizes, so you can opt for large pieces of soy protein to resemble pork tenderloin slices.
It is actually quite bland or tasteless on its own, so remember to well-season it with your favorite spices, herbs, or cook it with other savory ingredients.
Tofu can also be used as a vegan alternative for pork tenderloin.
It has a soft texture that can become firmer when fried.
Fried tofu works well in many recipes because it absorbs the flavor from the sauces or other ingredients, resulting in a flavorful and nutritious dish.
The bottom line
In conclusion, pork tenderloin is a great cut of meat for any dish.
But if you can’t get your hands on one or it’s too pricey for what you need, there are other cuts that work well with the similar flavor profile and texture as pork tenderloin.
Not only will these alternatives satisfy your taste buds but they may also be more budget-friendly and better for your health.
As always, we encourage you to experiment with all of the aforementioned pork tenderloin substitutes to find the perfect replacement.