Honey Sesame (or Flax) Pork Tenderloin

By Ann Fulton

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A little kitchen experimenting yielded fabulous results in this easy-to-make, Asian-inspired recipe that’s become a favorite with kids and adults alike.


As cooler weather arrives, I am using our grill less frequently and returning to some of my favorite oven and slow cooker meals.  The following pork tenderloin recipe is simple yet flavorful and pairs beautifully with a favorite quinoa salad I will share soon.

As I was looking for sesame seeds in the bulk aisle of the grocery store before making this meal, I noticed a container of flax seeds.  Curious as to how they would work as the crunchy topping and always enjoying an experiment, I rolled one of the tenderloins in sesame seeds and the other in the flax seeds.

The taste and texture were similar, while the color of the flax-coated tenderloin was a pretty golden brown.  Whichever topper you choose, the aroma of this dish will fill your kitchen and the taste is sure to please.


Honey Sesame (or Flax) Pork Tenderloin
Although sesame seeds are the traditional topping in an Asian-inspired dish, I was curious to see how flax seeds would work. I thought they offered a hint more crunch and the color was more golden brown. Feel free to use either one or a mix of both.
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root (could substitute one rounded teaspoon dry ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sesame or flax seeds or a mix of both (plus a bit extra for sprinkling)
  1. Mix the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a zipper-top bag. (I place it in a bowl so it doesn’t flop over and spill out. I learned that the hard way!)
  2. Add the tenderloins, turning to coat, and seal the bag.
  3. Refrigerate several hours or overnight, turning a few times if you remember.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Place the seeds in a shallow bowl. Mix the honey and brown sugar and brush over the tenderloins.
  6. You may heat 10-15 seconds in the microwave if the mixture seems too thick to brush on. Roll the tenderloins in the seeds to evenly coat. Place the tenderloins in a lightly greased baking dish and sprinkle with a few more seeds to evenly coat.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees F. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
  • In years past, it was customary to cook pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Recently, the USDA lowered its temperature recommendation for pork to 145 degrees F, and I think this produces a juicier, more tender outcome. In my oven, these particular tenderloins took 26 minutes and were juicy and delicious.
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  1. Linda Shelly

    Great recipe! Very tender and juicy, used combination of flax seeds and sesame seeds.
    Was somewhat leery of the cooking time for the pork but it was perfect! Keeper recipe.

  2. Christie

    This was FANTASTIC! So easy to prepare. My husband loved it and so did both my boys. I used sesame seeds, as I was out of flax seeds. The pork did take a lot longer to cook than 30 minutes.

    This recipe has made a place on our recipe rotation!

    Every one of your recipes have been awesome!

    1. Ann

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Christie. I am thrilled you have enjoyed the recipes! Thanks also for mentioning the cook time. Ovens can vary so much, so it’s a good reminder that the times will vary for some people.

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