Sesame-crusted pork tenderloin with orange blossom glaze

May 27, 2010  •  Category:


My mother used to cook  pork tenderloin  a lot when she lived in France; she would throw herbs and spices and stuff on it and it was always delicious; I figured I would try it with this jam, a typical Lebanese jam I found at the middle-eastern store; and why not crust it with my beloved sesame seeds?

I made a quick yogurt and orange blossom jam sauce to serve with it.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooks in: 30 minutes


  • 2 pork tenderloins about 1 3/4 pounds total weight
  • 3 cups of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup of orange blossom jam (substitute a jam of your liking, I use fig jam too)
  • 1 1/2 cups of yogurt, strained a bit on a coffee filter over a sieve if you like it thicker
  • rind of half an orange, with one tablespoon or more orange juice
  • salt, white pepper and a dash of cinnamon or allspice or anise if using fig jam
  • light olive oil


  1. Start the process by toasting the sesame seeds till golden in a 300F oven for 15 minutes, watching them to make sure they don’t burn. Cool. (Can be done several weeks ahead; keep in the freezer)
  2. Heat the jam and strain it; this will be the glaze, to be brushed on the pork all over.
  3. Sprinkle spices of your choice on the pork; if I use fig glaze, I sprinkle ground anise and white pepper; if I use orange blossom, white pepper and allspice or cinnamon or cardamom; brush with the glaze; coat with the golden sesame seeds thoroughly.
  4. Heat the oven to 425F; place the tenderloins on a piece of foil on a pan and bake covered in foil initially for a total of 30 minutes; make sure it is not overcooked; it needs to be pink in the middle or it will be too dry.
  5. While the meat is roasting, make the sauce: pour the yogurt in a bowl, add two or three tablespoons of jam, rind of the orange and 1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice and light olive oil. Whisk till smooth and set aside.
  6. When it is done, still pink but cooked remove from the oven; Cool it a bit and slice; serve with the sauce.


39 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Anita says:

    It’s funny, your mom cooks like my mom… organized chaos and it was always delicious 🙂 That looks so juicy and flavorful. I love the pairing of the jam with the sesame seeds, the flavor must have been awesome.

  2. Dana says:

    Orange blossom jam looks like an awesome ingredient!

  3. Melanie@ I Dream of says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your blog. I love Lebanese food. I’m going to be trying my hand at a Lebanese Lentil with Lemon soup. I had this in a restaurant recently and it was one of the best soups I’ve ever had. Looking forward to reading your blog.

  4. Ivy says:

    OMG, orange blossom jam!! I am just feeling the taste and smell and mmmmm can imagine how well this paired with the pork tenderloin.

  5. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Is Orange Blossom Jam like a marmalade? The pork looks rare. If it was beef, it would be looking perfectly cooked – but, I have been taught to be afraid of rare pork. Is that still the case? Any how – the crust sounds spectacular and like a burst of flavour. You have one very very fortunate family. Truly.

    • Joumana says:

      @Valerie (Canadian Foodie); pork tenderloin is very lean, like chicken breast; if it is overcooked (no pink) it is dry and unappetizing; so I make sure I cook it above 140F, which makes it safe but not over 150F; a meat thermometer helps or experience! I have been cooking it for years so I know by the looks of it how much longer it needs; check it frequently, but 30 minutes should be plenty of time or even 20 minutes at a higher oven temperature, like 450F.
      Orange Blossom Jam is like a marmalade in looks because it has bit of orange rind in it; my grandmother used to make it and I am lazy so I bought it.

  6. Angie's Recipes says:

    You cook like a pro. Love the sesame crust.

  7. HistoryOf GreekFood says:

    Delightfully harmonious combination of things sweet, sour, milky and spicy!

  8. Not Quite Nigella says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen orange blossom jam here but I will have a look out. We had some orange blossom lemonade at a Lebanese restaurant and it was really good! 🙂

  9. tobias cooks! says:

    So few ingredients produce such a yummy looking dish. This looks absolutely great.

  10. Cherine says:

    Interesting! This looks really good with the sesame topping!!

  11. SYLVIA says:

    Pork is a healthy choice rich in protein and full of vitamins. This is a spa meal that will energize you. I love how the meat sits on the bed of yogurt, and the sesame seed adheres to the jam and make a crust. I also like to add a little spice to the jam to register some heat. Thank you Joumana for another great recipe.

  12. Rosa says:

    Mmmhhh, that meat is cooked to perfection and the crust looks awesome!



  13. alwayswinner786 says:

    Moms are sweet angels who can make everything great in there own unique style!
    I love the use of orange jam and toasted sesame topping very delicious!

  14. Priya says:

    Interesting and beautiful dish..

  15. Joanne says:

    Orange and pork? Good call. Even better with the sesame seeds. I love using them…they really dress up a dish!

  16. Oui, Chef says:

    I’ll have to give this one a try. I LOVE sesame seeds, and while I’ve never had orange blossom jam, I always have orange blossom water (and rose water) in my fridge, because I find their flavors intoxicating. There are a few lebanese markets up in Somerville, and I’ll have to check them soon for the jam so that I can make this great looking dish. – S

  17. grace says:

    the addition of the orange jam is brilliant, and i love the crust of sesame seeds. this is a unique and wholly appealing pork preparation!

  18. Karolina says:

    It is so common to glaze a roasted ham with some marmolade or jam and I think it is very tasty and I would love to try this pork.

  19. Barbara Bakes says:

    Pork tenderloin is becoming one of my favorite meals. Your orange flavored version sounds delicious.

  20. Camille says:

    That sesame crust looks great! I’m also intrigued by the orange blossom jam. May have to seek that one out…

  21. Doc says:

    Looks fantastic and your pork looks PERFECTLY cooked! I love the citrus flavor with pork loin, as it needs a flavor booster. Sesame seeds to give a nice outer crunch to the soft meat, mmmm.
    Well done!

  22. Katerina says:

    This sweet and sour flavor looks very tempting. I am sure it tastes great as well.

  23. Lori Lynn says:

    What an interesting combination of flavors! I bet it tasted awesome.

  24. Wizzythestick says:

    Hey, Lovely new pic for your about me post:-) I am curious about the orange blossom jam? Does it have an orange flavour? The crust on the porK looks fabulous I just love sesame seeds

  25. john@heneedsfood says:

    mmmm pork! Now we’re talking. It seems pork is my choice of meat at the moment and this recipe you’ve shown looks delicious and juicy. Must be quite nice with the aromatic orange blossom

  26. Vagabonde says:

    I have a fig tree so I make beaucoup fig jam. I’ll try it with your recipe – I rarely use my fig jam apart from placing it on toast. This year again we’ll have plenty of figs. Sometimes I mixed the figs with other fruits, like mango, cherimoyas or pears, then I also add some liquor. Once I added some passion fruit liquor I bought in Africa and it was good with the figs.

  27. cmiranda says:

    What a great and refreshing idea for glazed pork.I’ve never eaten pork with fruit glazes because every other recipe seems to contain pineapple which I really don’t care for but this is a nice touch.

  28. Mathai says:

    It looks so tender! love the crust 🙂

  29. Mimi says:

    What a flavorful way to cook pork tenderloin.

  30. Tourist to Beirut says:

    Heya, your website looks so delicious Mmmm.. I’m coming to Beirut for 4 days next week from Saudi Arabia. Could you please recommend some nice pork serving restaurants that I can go to in Beirut? (By the way I’m not a muslim) That would be so nice. Thanks for the help.

    • Joumana says:

      @Tourist to Beirut: I would not recommend pork in Lebanon; if you wish to eat pork, then I would recommend in Beirut going to French or Italian restaurants. Pork and its derivatives, prosciutto, ham, etc is sold in Beirut in supermarkets like TSC at the Souks, imported from Italy or Spain.

  31. domi says:

    Sésame ouvre moi l’ appétit avec ta belle croûte dorée pour que je puisse ” filet ” en cuisine, quel pat délicieux et fondant….

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