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Buttermilk fried pork

Updated: Mon, 14 December, 2020

Slices of tender pork fillet marinated in buttermilk become even tenderer. Dip them in a cornmeal coating seasoned classically with garlic, mustard and herbs and fry in not a lot of oil.

buttermilk fried pork

Pork fillet - an easy cut

Pork tenderloin or fillet mignon (known in my house as ‘filet de piglet’, just btw), is supposed to be the easiest meat cut to cook. Brushed with a bit of hoisin, plum, soy sauce or honey, half an hour in the oven and it’s ready.

But I find it utterly boring I’m sorry to say. Roasted pork tenderloin has not much going for it in my books; even when herbed, stuffed or wrapped in pancetta, the latter ingredient is the best bit.

Boring and dry

It’s dry. Dry meat is not acceptable in my books and however much I long for someone to think of a replacement for the hateful word ‘moist’, that’s what meat should be.

Otherwise you feel like you’re chewing on straw. Pork loin and tenderloin, chicken and turkey breast, brisket if badly cooked – no taste, just mastication. All the gravy in the world will not sweeten the roast.

fried pork tenderloin

How to cook pork tenderloin?

I like the fillet (filet) best in stir fries, cut into strips, smothered in sweet and salty with a hit of heat. Someone might say it’s a waste of an expensive cut but I do not think so – choice cuts are best for stir fries where the meat is just flash fried.

So it's stir fires, or else this recipe here which is a take on the Southern stateside classic, buttermilk fried chicken.

How to cook buttermilk fried pork?

Marinating the meat in buttermilk with seasonings is the key - if you remember to prep it the night before, you'll be grateful to yourself.

The next day the pork slices will simply travel from the buttermilk bowl or bag to the seasoned flour, cornmeal or a mix. Dancing in the flour enough to get coated, they will then need only shallow frying in not a lot of oil; just enough to cover the bottom of the frying pan to a depth of about half an inch.

fried pork

How to season buttermilk pork?

Seasoning is ad lib but I’ve opted for Southern-ish, little that I know of it. If you can get hold of Old Bay Seasoning, it will work very well - otherwise use the seasoning mix below.

Buttermilk fried pork

Servings: 2Time: 15 minutes plus brining


  • pork tenderloin, about 450g (1 pound) in weight
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 200g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 100g (½ cup) fine cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 250ml (1 cup) groundnut oil
  • salt


1. Trim the pork tenderloin of all fat and silver tendons; cut it into 2cm (1 ½ in) cutlets. Flatten the cutlets on a cutting board with your hand.

2. In a large bowl mix the buttermilk with the mustard powder, chili sauce and marjoram. Toss the pork in the buttermilk and chill for at least 2 hours, best overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to barely warm, 100C/225F with a baking dish inside. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or a skillet.

4. Prepare a mix of the flour, cornmeal, onion and garlic powder in a large bowl or a freezer bag. Lift the pork pieces from the buttermilk, shake off excess liquid and drop them into the flour. Shake the bowl or bag energetically about to coat the meat.

5. When the oil is shimmering (180C/350F), shake the cutlets off excess flour and place them in the pan – don’t crowd it, work in batches if necessary, that’s why you have the warm oven at the ready.

6. Fry the pork for 3 minutes on one side until browned underneath. Turn the pieces over and fry for another 3-4 minutes. Lift them with a slotted spoon, drain briefly on paper towels and place in the warm oven while you finish frying.

7. Let the meat rest in the oven for a few minutes even if you manage to fry it all in one batch. Serve with green vegetables, ketchup and lemon quarters.

Originally published: Mon, 2 April, 2018

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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